A deadly boat crash took the lives of three people on Lake Coeur d'Alene on July 30, 2016.
Since then boating citations on Kootenai County waters haven’t just increased, they’ve skyrocketed.
“We’ve just stepped up safety instruction stops, traffic stops, and I think the public is taking notice of that,” said Deputy Sheriff with the KCSO Marine Division, Tanner Cox. “And a lot of people are being safer since the tragedy we had last year.”
Last year, the Sheriffs Office handed out just 37 citations, down from 113 the year before. Only nine Operating Under the Influence tickets were written, down from 24 in 2015.
But 2017 tells a much different story.
This year, 236 citations have been written, the most since before 2012, and 21 Operating Under the Influence tickets have been written. The Sheriff’s Office has also completed 3,085 inspections, up from the 1,250 the previous year.
“I think this year one of the big things is we have a real passionate group,” said Deputy Dale Johnson, Supervisor of the Recreation Division. “To see the crashes that we've done, both the one last year the ones in the past, they saw the passion behind education and enforcement.”
There’s still another month of boating season left in the Inland Northwest. Deputy Johnson says help them keep the waters safe by performing all your safety checks before leaving the dock.
Boating statistics since 2012 are listed below. Note that 2017 is not complete. These are as of September 2, 2017:
Year Inspections OUI Citation
2017 3085 21 236
2016 1250 9 37
2015 1864 24 113
2014 4464 13 124
2013 4515 19 200
2012 5474 37 126