Coast Guard Launches Operation Dry Water Targeting Drunk Boaters
The Coast Guard, along with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the National Association of Safe Boating Law Administrators, and other state and local law enforcement agencies will be participating June 25-27 in "Operation Dry Water," a national coordinated effort aimed at reducing boating under the influence and the number of alcohol-related accidents and fatalities.
In 2008, the Coast Guard reported 17 percent of all boating fatalities were a direct result of alcohol use. Law enforcement officers from the Coast Guard, FWCC and local agencies, as part of Operation Dry Water, will be out in force this weekend looking for boat operators whose blood alcohol content exceeds the limit of 0.08 percent.
"Operation Dry Water is an opportunity to foster a safe boating experience," said Coast Guard Capt. Scott Ferguson, the Seventh District chief of preventions. "Boating is supposed to be fun; we want everyone to come home safe."
Impaired boaters found to be under the influence can expect penalties to be severe and can include fines, jail, and loss of boating or even driving privileges.
"We want people to have fun while recreational boating," said FWCC Capt. Richard Moore, national spokesperson for Operation Dry Water. "We recommend that people avoid alcohol whenever they are boating, and we will have zero tolerance for anyone found operating a boat under the influence of alcohol or drugs."
Operation Dry Water is a joint program of the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators and the U.S. Coast Guard. For more information, visit operationdrywater.org.