Mishawaka firefighter arrested for drunk boating during DNR alcohol search


Indiana conservation officers received a number of complaints on Kosciusko County's James Lake over the July 4th weekend, prompting the DNR to search the sandbar area for intoxicated boaters and minors drinking alcohol.

State Excise Police Saturday were called to what is commonly called "Little Tippy Lake" to help and ticketed 16 minors for illegal consumption and possession of alcoholic beverages.

They also nabbed Nicholas Ponsler, 27, of South Bend and jailed him on a charge of operating a watercraft with a blood alcohol count over the legal .08%.

Ponsler is a Mishawaka firefighter.

"As the captain of your boat, it is your duty to ensure that everyone enjoys themselves responsibly while aboard your boat," said Indiana Conservation Officer Jerry Hoerdt. "If you suspect someone of impaired or intoxicated boat operation, you may call the Indiana Conservation Officers dispatch center at (812) 837-9536. In an emergency, always dial 911 first and an Indiana Conservation Officer will be dispatched along with other emergency personnel."