- Associated Press - Wednesday, July 1, 2015

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Ahead of a long holiday weekend, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is warning boaters about operating vessels while intoxicated.

The department issued a news release noting the arrests of three boaters statewide from last Friday through Sunday - in Jefferson, Livingston and Tangipahoa parishes.

The department said Louisiana had 18 boating fatalities in 2014 with alcohol playing a role in six of those deaths.

In Louisiana, a DWI on the water carries the same penalties and fines as on the road. Anyone operating a moving vessel or vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher can be charged. A first offense carries a $300 to $1,000 fine and up to six months in jail.

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