MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A new rule takes effect Friday on the biggest lake in the Twin Cities.

Beginning Friday, boat owners on Lake Minnetonka who allow underage drinking on board will get slapped with a misdemeanor if caught.

It was welcomed news for parents on the lake like Reid Baerenwald.

“This is our first year having a boat on the lake,” Baerenwald said. “I think it just helps keep accountability for everyone and keeps us safe.”

Boat owners will be held responsible for any underage drinking that happens on their vessel.

The Lake Minnetonka Conservation District headed by Vickie Schleuning worked with Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO) to craft the new ordinance.

“So many people use the lake and we want to make sure more people continue enjoying the lake and using it safely,” Schleuning said.

The new rule makes it a misdemeanor for a boat owner or operator to knowingly allow underage drinking or provide the alcohol.

The county reports there were five medical calls on the lake this Fourth of July, and four of them were related to underage drinking.

Over the Fourth of July holiday weekend, 45 minors were cited for underage drinking, according to HCSO.

This new ordinance will also apply to fish houses in the winter.


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