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June 2, 2011

Memorial Day Weekend Enforcement at Illinois Parks, Waterways Result in More Than 1,500 Arrests and Warnings

SPRINGFIELD, IL – Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) Conservation Police officers arrested 12 boaters for operating under the influence and another eight 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 606 arrest citations for other offenses and issued 974 written warnings statewide while on patrol during the Memorial Day weekend, May 27-31. 

“The wet and cold weather in many parts of the state over the Memorial Day weekend decreased, to some degree, the number of people who were able to get out and enjoy the weekend but our officers were still very busy,” said IDNR Conservation Police Chief Rafael Gutierrez.  “The majority of those that were able to get out and enjoy some of the weekend did so safely and that is always good to see.”

Of the six boating accidents investigated by CPOs on Illinois waters during the holiday weekend, none resulted in fatalities.  Illinois Conservation Police also performed routine safety inspections of over 1,200 boats throughout the state over the same time period.

“Our officers take boating safety very seriously.  That 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. 

Offenses for which other 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.


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