|Whitewater River in Franklin County|
(Brookville, Ind.) – About 15 people who planned on having a good time on the water in Franklin County this past weekend instead ended up in jail when alcohol became involved.
Indiana Conservation Officers and Indiana Excise Police participated in details on the Whitewater River and Brookville Lake Saturday and Sunday. Corporal Bill Beville said the officers are trying to keep the waterways safe.
“We invite everyone to come enjoy themselves and our natural resources, but do it safely and within the law,” Beville said.
Patrolling the popular canoe destination that is the Whitewater River from Brookville to Cedar Grove, officers made several arrests each day Saturday and Sunday. Beville said the charges ranged from Minor Consumption, Furnishing Alcohol to a Minor, and Possession of Marijuana.
In addition to the arrests made this weekend, Beville said other longstanding problems on the river include littering and public nudity. Indiana law does allow for people of legal age to drink alcohol while canoeing, but conservation officers will take action when canoers cross the line into public intoxication.
“We’re working hard to protect the public from those posing problems,” said Beville. “Our job is to detect and remove those people.”
During enforcement efforts of Brookville Lake Saturday, three people were arrested for Operating a Watercraft Under the Influence. According to Beville, in one of the cases, a witness called 911 after seeing an operator vomit over the side of his boat. That boater was also reported to have struck another watercraft on the lake.
ICO Stephen Miller said officers want to make sure that Indiana’s public waters remain family oriented. More river and lake patrols are likely to take place throughout the summer, Miller said.