Twin Falls Sheriff’s Office is reminding the public it’s illegal to be intoxicated and operate a watercraft on Idaho waterways

Published: May. 24, 2023 at 3:12 PM MDT
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TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) — With the upcoming holiday weekend, the Twin Falls Sheriff’s office says they will be out patrolling both the roads and the river.

Sergeant Ken Mencl, with the Sheriff’s Office, is reminding anyone who will be enjoying Idaho’s great waterways to wear a life jacket, have a sound-making device, like a whistle, and get an invasive species sticker.

He also says just like in a motor vehicle it is a misdemeanor to be intoxicated while out on the water.

He said people can have alcohol with them but can be charged with operating under the influence if they above a blood alcohol content of .08 or higher, whether it’s a motorized boat, kayak, canoe, or even a paddle board.

“If you’ve got the slurred speech, the glassy watery blood-shot eyes, if we see that you’re impaired, if we see that you’re having problems out on the waterways, we see that you’re violating navigational rules, or that you’re a hazard to yourself or others, we’ll make that contact,” said Mencl. “And, if determine that there’s impairment, just like a DUI up here on the roadways, where we’re looking for those same driving patterns, if you will, when we see that on the water we’ll go through the standard feel sobriety tests.”

If an operator of a boat is intoxicated and is a resident of Idaho the fine can be 500 dollars and one thousand dollars for non-Idaho residents.