The Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office Marine Unit ranked number one in the state of Florida last year in BUI arrests by any Sheriff’s Office or Police Department.
- Now, they have already surpassed last year’s totals with five months still left in the year.
- The Marine Unit made 83 BUI arrests in 2021.
- As of today – that number for 2022 is 87 and counting.
“The boating population and the boating activities have increased drastically over the past two years since COVID,” said Sgt. Kyle Corbitt, Marine Unit.
Corbitt says that the Marine Unit is seeing an increase rental companies throughout the county. He says it’s not just in Destin anymore, but in Fort Walton Beach, Niceville and over by the Mid-Bay bridge.
“Driving a boat or driving a jet-ski is a whole lot different than driving a car,” he explained. “You don’t have brakes and you can’t stop them very easily. This county has always been in the top 10 in vessel crashes and fatalities in the entire state.”
Local news sent to your inbox 🤝
Thousands of locals read our newsletter every morning! It’s FREE and makes sure that you never miss important local updates.
Sgt. Corbitt explains that the Okaloosa Sheriff’s Office, Florida Wildlife, and US Coast Guard working together is a “force multiplier” to help get Okaloosa County out of that top 10 position.
“A majority of our vessel crashes and crashes involving fatalities tend to involve alcohol,” he added. “The residents here in this county, and Sheriff Aden, are all big proponents of our Marine unit and trying to keep our waterways safe.”