Illinois Department of Natural Resources  

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 7, 2010

Safety Enforcement at Illinois Parks and Waterways Results in More than 2,000 Arrests and Warnings During Recent Memorial Day Weekend

SPRINGFIELD – Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) Conservation Police officers arrested 19 boaters for operating under the influence and another 13 motorists for driving under the influence as part of enforcement efforts during the recent Memorial Day holiday weekend on Illinois waterways and at state parks, recreation areas, fish and wildlife areas and other IDNR-managed sites.

In addition to the OUI and DUI arrests, Conservation Police officers (CPOs) issued 814 arrest citations for other offenses and issued 1,267 written warnings statewide while on patrol during the Memorial Day weekend, May 28-31. 

“Having a great time while on the water or at a state park is a big part of the spring and summer for millions of residents and visitors to Illinois, and our job is to make sure those enjoying the outdoors are safe,” said IDNR Conservation Police Chief Rafael Gutierrez.  “Operating a vehicle or a boat while under the influence is dangerous and our Conservation Police officers will always remove impaired drivers and boaters to help make our parks and waterways safe.”

Offenses for which arrest citations were issued range from possession of drugs and drug paraphernalia, underage drinking and disorderly conduct to illegal fishing and a variety of boat safety and boating law violations.  CPOs investigated 13 boating accidents on Illinois waters during the holiday weekend.

“Boating safety begins with making sure your watercraft has the required safety equipment, including personal floatation devices for everyone on board, being aware of others on the water and staying sober while operating the boat,” Gutierrez added.  “Our officers take boating safety – and safety in our parks – very seriously.  We want boaters and park visitors to do the same.”