UNDER THE LIMIT: Boaters Drink Less After Deadly Accident
Many boaters kept a closer eye on their alcohol intake this weekend after a drunken boating accident killed a well-known local musician last Sunday.
Two boaters were charged with BWI after that crash that killed 49 year-old Kelly Starrett. This weekend, the DNR is out in full force on Saylorville Lake as part of Operation Dry Water. It’s an effort to prevent boaters from driving drunk.
“People don`t understand with alcohol and water there are added factors like wave action and wind action and sun that actually enhances the effects of alcohol in people,” say Aron Arthur of the DNR.
Last year, Polk County gave out the most BWI’s in the state. DNR officers say a lot of drinking goes on at Saylorville Lake. They spent the weekend checking in on people, telling them facts like this one: more than half of Iowa’s boating fatalities involved alcohol, and most of those victims were innocent bystanders.
News of last weeknd’s fatal crash spread fast. Most people at Saylorville were talking about it, and some say the tragedy is changing the way they think about boating and alcohol.
“It`s a sobering use, the words sobering. You don`t know what circumstances were before but you sit back and think it shouldn`t have happened,” says Bob Best of Ames.
The Iowa DNR last year, did over 200 safety checks and gave out 45 citations. They did notice, however, this weekend, that people seemed to be drinking less alcohol than last year, and most everyone they talked to had heard about last weekend’s fatal accident .