Raft DUI: Man Arrested For Drunkenly Floating Down Chena River

Apparently you can get arrested for DUI while piloting a raft, as evidenced by a Juneau man who was apprehended for floating through Fairbanks, Alaska while intoxicated on Sunday night. According to Fairbanks Daily News Miner, Alaskan law states that driving under the influence includes such methods of transportation as motor vehicles, water craft, and airplanes. Consider this the next time you decide to drunkenly float across a body of water on an inflatable raft.

William Modene, 32, was arrested after local authorities received reports of a “heavily intoxicated” gentleman enjoying a leisurely trip down Chena River. A wildlife trooper boat responded to the call, and before too long, Modene was in custody. Reports indicate the inebriated rafter had a 0.313 breath-alcohol content, which is nearly four times the legal limit.

In a post on the Alaska State Troopers’ “daily dispatches” log, police claim Modene had been floating down the river most of the day on his inflatable raft. As far as they could tell, the suspect had been consuming alcohol the entire time. The drunken rafter posted $2,500 bail on Monday.

Operating boat, jet skis, or other water-based vessels while under the influence of alcohol has been a growing concern for authorities over the past few years. Global Legal Resources states that, in 2010 alone, the Coast Guard reported over 4,600 boating accidents involving 672 fatalities and 3,153 injuries.

BWI (Boating While Intoxicated) is currently the leading contributor of boating accidents and deaths. 16 percent of all boating mishaps are a direct result of intoxication. In fact, operators with a blood alcohol level of 0.10 percent
are ten times more likely to die in an accident than someone who hasn’t had a single drink.

For those living in Alaska, the definition of water craft operation is the navigation of a “vessel used or capable of being used as a means of transportation on water for recreational or commercial purposes on all waters, fresh or salt, inland or coastal, inside the territorial limits or under the jurisdiction of the state.”