The Missouri State Highway Patrol this holiday weekend is cracking down in Central Missouri on people operating boats at the Lake of the Ozarks and along the Osage and Missouri rivers while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Captain Gregory D. Kindle, commanding officer of Troop F, which includes Callaway and 12 other Missouri counties, said all this month the patrol will be conducting sobriety saturation enforcement along the Missouri and Osage rivers.
The Missouri River covers the entire southern boundary of Callaway County.
Troopers will be conducting the special ckeckpoints set up along the Missouri and Osage Rivers in Central Missouri.
Colonel Ronald K. Replogle, patrol superintendent, said the patrol has just completed participation in a special nationwide Operation Dry Water campaign to detect intoxicated impaired operators of boats.
Throughout the state, troopers conducted four special boating sobriety checkpoints, saturations and heightened awareness.
In Central Missouri on Saturday troopers conducted a boating-while-intoxicated checkpoint in Camden County on the Lake of the Ozarks. Patrolmen stopped 181 vessels during the operation. One boating-while-intoxicated arrest was made during this concentrated effort.
In addition, two summons were issued for boating safety violations, one non-boating violation and 46 warnings were issued.
Missouri law prohibits boating while intoxicated caused by alcohol or any combination of alcohol, controlled substances or drugs.
On Aug. 28, 2008, Missouri's blood alcohol concentration for a boating-while-intoxicated charge was reduced from 0.10 percent to 0.08 percent, the same as the maximum allowed for driving a vehicle.
Missouri law states there is evidence of intoxication if a person has a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 percent or more. It can be measured by a chemical analysis of either breath, blood, or saliva.
A person boating while intoxicated who causes death or serious injury to another person, upon conviction, is guilty of a felony.
The patrol reported any person operating a vessel on Missouri waters has consented to be tested for alcohol or drugs if so requested by a law enforcement officer. If the person operating the vessel refuses to be tested, he is subject to arrest.
Kindle urged motorists and watercraft operators to protect themselves by making sure everyone in a vehicle is properly restrained in a seat belt or child restraint and everyone in a watercraft vessel is wearing an approved life jacket.