Coast Guard Launches Operation Dry Water to Nab Drunk Boaters

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Operation Dry Dock looks for drunk boaters

Operation Dry Water aims to keep people from drinking and boating.

State and federal marine law enforcement officers will be working together during Operation Dry Water this weekend, June 24-26, looking for boaters whose Blood Alcohol Content exceeds the legal limit of .08%.

Operation Dry Water will include increased patrols, breathalyzer tests, and boater education. Boaters found to be impaired can expect penalties to be severe.

During the nationwide operation last year, 322 boating under the influence arrests were made and 4,171 citations handed out. 

Studies conducted by the Coast Guard’s Office of Boating Safety reflect the dangers of the overuse of alcohol over the past nine years. In the reported number of boating fatalities, nearly 80% of victims were not wearing a lifejacket. In those same fatal cases, 59% percent of victims were found to have a Blood Alcohol Content over .04. During non-fatal accidents, 22% were found to have a BAC higher than .04.

Alcohol is even more hazardous on the water than on land. The marine environment – motion, vibration, engine noise, sun, wind and spray – accelerates a drinker’s impairment. These stressors cause fatigue that makes a boat operator’s coordination, judgment and reaction time decline even faster when using alcohol.

Operation Dry Water is a multi-agency, education and enforcement initiative launched by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators in partnership with the Coast Guard, putting thousands of local, state and federal marine law enforcement officers on the water nationwide the last weekend in June to give BUI enforcement high visibility during the peak boating season.

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