LAWRENCE TOWNSHIP (WKZO) -- A few hours after they busted a boatload of noisy under aged drinkers on Christie Lake in Van Buren County, the Marine patrol arrested a 27-year-old male from Illinois for operating a boat while intoxicated in the same Lawrence Township lake.
They boarded the pontoon boat for a routine safety inspection and discovered the pilot’s condition. He was taken to jail. His two passengers and the boat were returned to its dock. The case was turned over to the prosecutors office for formal charges.
Van Buren County Deputies joined with other county marine patrols, the DNR and the Coast Guard this weekend in “Operation Dry Water 2012”. It was a national educational effort like “click it or ticket” or the holiday anti-drunk driving campaign that is about to begin, to hammer home to boaters the dangers of operating under the influence.
They say boating fatalities last year jumped to the highest level since 1998, and alcohol was to blame more often than any other reason.