SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Overall, driving under the influence (DUI) arrests by the South Dakota State Patrol haven’t changed much over July 1-4 in the past five years.
The five-year low was 21 DUI arrests in 2020. The high was 33 in 2018. There were 30 DUIs from July 1-4 this year.
The five-year high for DUI arrests by the State Patrol on July 1 was 16 in 2018. The low was five in 2020.
The State Patrol made eight DUI arrests in 2022.
Nationwide from 2016 to 2020, 41% of the drivers killed in vehicle crashes over the July 4 holiday were drunk, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Boating under the influence (BUI) arrests are made by the South Dakota Game Fish and Parks Department (GFP). The GFP had 17 BUI arrests over the July 4 weekend this year. The four-year high was 20 in 2021.
“The 4th of July weekend coincides with Operation Dry Water which is a national event done every year,” Sam Schelhaas, the law enforcement section chief with the GFP, said in an email. “The mission of Operation Dry water is to reduce the number of alcohol-and drug-related accidents and fatalities through increased recreational boater awareness and by fostering a stronger and more visible deterrent to alcohol use on water.”
Operation Dry Water is a national campaign with the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators. Participating law enforcement agencies focus on education and enforcement during the July 4 weekend.
According to the Operation Dry Water campaign, 575 agencies participated in 2021 and 638 arrests were made. In 2020, 620 agencies participated and there were 625 BUI arrests.
Alcohol was involved in more than 100 deaths or 18% of total fatalities in boating incidents in 2020, according to MADD.