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CPOs on the water this weekend

June 23, 2010 at 01:43 PM

SPRINGFIELD, IL – The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) Conservation Police Officers (CPOs) will be out in full force this weekend – on the look-out for boaters operating under the influence of drugs or alcohol.  The increased enforcement is part of a national coordinated effort of stepped-up enforcement called Operation Dry Water.

“We want people to have fun, but at the same time to be safe out on the water,” said IDNR Office of Law Enforcement Chief Rafael Gutierrez.  “Alcohol use is one of the leading factors in fatal recreational boating accidents in the state of Illinois and across the country.  We recommend that all boats have a designated skipper on board.”

Impaired boaters caught this weekend can expect penalties.  In Illinois, operating under the influence (OUI) is a Class A misdemeanor for the first offense.  It is punishable by a maximum of one year in jail and/or up to $2,500 in fines.

“Our CPOs work hard throughout the year to make sure boaters are safe on Illinois public waters,” added Chief Gutierrez.  “We have zero tolerance for anyone found operating a boat under the influence at any time; however, boaters will see a stepped up effort as we approach the 4th of July holiday.”

Operation Dry Water was launched in 2009 by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators in partnership with the United States Coast Guard and the IDNR to draw public attention to the hazards of OUI.  Operation Dry Water is a national weekend of OUI detection and enforcement aimed at reducing the number of alcohol and drug-related accidents and fatalities. 

Click here for more information.

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Leave it to the state of Illinois to tell everyone so that all the idiots know what is going on. This lake is full of dangerous drunks. They would rather harras fisherman than the rich people, who pay their salaries, living on the lake. I am out here all the time fishing and its about time they did something. Just takes national whatever day for them to keep us safe. What about the rest of the year? I could write 20 tickets a night and I am not even looking for anyone drunk. It isnt hard to tell. About time someone did their job. Enforce the no wake rule and speeding right next to fisherman at 1 in the morning as well. Lots of problems that need addressed. We already have security who doesnt do their job.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 06/23 at 02:02 PM

After doing my internship with the Illinois Conservation Police, I completely disagree with your comment. I saw first hand what our CPOs have to deal with on a daily basis. Whether it is being the only CPO on duty in 3 connecting counties, having multiple incidences in several areas when there is not enough CPOs to accomplish anything, or dealing with ignorant hunters, fishermen, boaters, etc. I went on a few water patrols with the CPOs and while on patrol we did not stop one boat under 35ft for doing such things as making a wake in a no way zone, litering, and passing too close to stopped boats. So they ARE doing their job but when there are so few, with so little resources, they can’t be everywhere you personally would like them to be. I thank all CPO’s for there time and hard work making our waterways safer for everyone. No matter who is being stopped. Before you judge what the CPOs actually do, do a little research and find out how many are in your area and realize they have only 40 hrs a week to accomplish everything on water and land and the state hinder many water patrols due to not allowing enough gas to be used or repairs on boats that are used for patrol. Again i thank all CPOs for what they do and hope this weekend is a success in keeping our waterways a safer place.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 06/24 at 10:40 AM

LeatherneckBasser…....... Is Durkin still the intern coordinator at WIU?

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 06/24 at 04:42 PM

i agree with leatherneckbasser, blame our crooked state politicians that ran illinois into debt and not the CPO’s , we also have 1 CPO on duty to cover 3 counties in my area. how is that single man soposed to cover that much ground? they are stretched thin and are not given enough materials to get the job done. when politicians stop raping our fishing and hunting licence money and diverting it to other funds, maybe things will change for the outdoorsman in illinois

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 06/24 at 04:54 PM

i agree they are just doing their jobs and glad they are but i had a cpo tear my boat and truck apart at the boat ramp because he thought i had beer i was puting my boat my boat in the water to fish a afternoon bass tournament and made 20 minutes late to launch

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 06/25 at 12:02 PM

Yeah, Durkin is still the intern coordinator. I agree not every CPO is the best one out there and some mistakes have and will be done. For the most part, many of them are very good at their job and are trying to do their job as best as possible. I’m glad other people have reason and agree with my opinion. Sometime you have to look at the big picture to see the truth behind things.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 06/26 at 01:33 PM

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