Officers to crack down on 'boating while intoxicated' for Operation Dry Water weekend

Published: Jun. 27, 2017 at 10:37 PM EDT
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If you're going to the lake this July 4th weekend, you may see more law enforcement out on the water with you.

They're cracking down on boating while intoxicated as part of

Heightened Enforcement Weekend.

One young Lexington woman who lost her leg when she was hit by a drunk boater seven years ago is using her experience to shed light on the problem.

July 2nd always brings back memories for Alex Otte - memories of how someone else's choices changed her life forever. Otte, who was 13 at the time, was


"He hit me from the side, went up over the jet ski and came down on top of me," Otte told WKYT's Garrett Wymer. "I sustained very serious injuries from head to toe, including a severe brain injury, a broken neck and the loss of my right leg."

Sunday will be the seventh anniversary of what Otte calls her "Alive Day." The weekend also marks Operation Dry Water weekend, when officials bring awareness to and crack down on the very thing that nearly killed Otte.

"We shifted the culture in the 80s of where drinking and driving is no longer OK, but somehow that culture still remains on lakes and waterways, where people go to the lake to drink, and they don't understand that that still happens - people can still die, they can still get hurt, there can still be crashes," Otte said. "So that's really a culture shift that needs to occur."

Otte hasn't let what happened slow her down.

She still loves the water. WKYT's Amber Philpott was with her in 2011 as she


Otte also travels around sharing her story, trying it to keep it from happening to someone else. In 2015, Mothers Against Drunk Driving honored her


Now Otte is even part of a new

, urging folks to think twice before drinking and boating. It is dangerous just to be on a boat drunk, but Otte urges folks at the very least to have a designated driver on the boat.

"You have the choice whether to hurt someone," she said. "You have the choice whether to kill someone. Don't make the wrong one."