Illinois Department of Natural Resources

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 8, 2010

Busy Holiday Weekend at State Parks and on Illinois Waterways

IDNR Conservation Police focus on safety; investigate nine boating accidents

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) reported a busy and relatively safe Fourth of July holiday weekend at Illinois state parks and on the state’s waterways. 

As part of a statewide multi-agency law enforcement effort aimed at impaired drivers, IDNR Conservation Police officers (CPOs) arrested 32 boaters for operating under the influence, made six arrests for driving under the influence, and made 13 additional arrests for drug offenses during the holiday weekend, July 2-5. 

CPOs also investigated nine boating accidents on Illinois waterways, including one on Lake Lou Yaeger in Litchfield (Montgomery County) on July 3 in which there was a fatality.

Also during the holiday weekend, CPOs issued 564 arrest citations for violations of boat, park, fish and game, vehicle code, and other offenses, and issued an additional 858 written warnings.

“Our law enforcement focus during the holiday weekend and at all times is in on the safety of our park visitors and safety of everyone enjoying time on the water,” said IDNR Law Enforcement Chief Rafael Gutierrez.  “That’s why we use enforcement efforts like the You Drink and Drive. You Lose campaign and our IDNR boat safety emphasis to send a message that we’re serious about it.”

During the weekend preceding the Fourth of July holiday (June 25-27), CPOs conducted boat safety inspections as part of the nationwide Operation Dry Water safety campaign of the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators.  As part of that enforcement detail, CPOs inspected more than 450 boats, made 11 arrests for operating under the influence, and issued 59 arrest citations and 166 written warnings.