- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 8, 2014

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Texas officials say game wardens arrested nearly 60 boaters for operating under the influence over the Fourth of July holiday weekend.

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department said in a release Tuesday that game wardens across the state were in contact with approximately 30,000 recreational boaters as part of enforcement efforts.

In addition to the 58 people arrested for operating under the influence, another 39 were cited for underage drinking and eight for drug-related offenses.

Game wardens the prior weekend arrested 17 for boating under the influence and issued more than 1,100 citations and safety warnings.

Parks and Wildlife officials say alcohol is the leading contributor to recreational boater deaths. They say since 2009 there’s been a 37 percent drop in the number of boater deaths linked to alcohol use.

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