Dodge County Recreation Patrol Encourages Safe Boating

(Dodge County) The Dodge County Sheriff’s Department has a new recreation patrol officer on staff.  Deputy Jason Roy has taken on the position as of mid-May of this year and was our guest recently on WBEV’s Community Comment alongside Captain Chad Enright to talk about the position. Enright gave an overview of the duties of a recreational patrol officer saying that their vision is to have the deputy in the boat as much as possible during the summer, transitioning back to regular patrol duties once the boating season has ended. In between, Roy will be making public appearances for the department and give boating, ATV and snowmobile classes.

One concern of the sheriff’s office is the use of alcohol while operating any motor vehicle off or on the water. Roy warns that boaters often do not realize that the same .08 blood-alcohol-content level applies while operating on the water, saying it is a very common misconception that you cannot be cited for operating while intoxicated when on a boat.  He says what many do not realize is that it takes a third less alcohol to affect you out on the water and adds that the combination of the sun and the waves can be dangerous when mixed with drinking.  Roy recommends having a sober individual designated to drive the boat.

The sheriff’s office is aware of the stigma that surrounds their presence on the water, but they want to remind boaters that they are not out to harass people and hand out citations.  Roy says that in general they are not out there to ruin your day. He says they are out there to make sure it is safe for everyone on the water and that many of the officers like to enjoy the local lakes and take their families out on the water and only want to see everyone have a safe time.

The sheriff’s department cautions everyone to make it a safe recreational season whether it is on the water in the summer, four-wheeling the trails in the fall or riding snowmobiles throughout the winter. The sheriff’s department says their goal is to offer assistance and help facilitate safe and fun recreational practices.