SEATTLE — Coast Guard crews working with state and local enforcement personnel will be conducting multi-agency Boating Under the Influence education, detection, and enforcement patrols in Seattle Friday through Sunday.
The multi-agency initiative, which includes members of the Coast Guard, Washington State Fish and Wildlife, and Seattle and Mercer Island Police Departments, is targeted to help ensure the safety of boaters enjoying the many events of Seafair weekend.
Operating a boat with a blood alcohol content of .08 or higher is against federal and state law. In Washington, alcohol use is the leading contributing factor in 17% of boating fatalities
“This past 4th of July weekend, we had a tragic alcohol related incident that resulted in one death and several serious injuries,” said Cmdr. Brian Meier, chief of response, Coast Guard Sector Puget Sound. “Being aware of the boating traffic around you and boating sober can prevent tragedy. Making good choices ensures everyone enjoys their time on the water and comes home safe.”
Boating under the influence of drugs or alcohol endangers the operator’s life and the lives of others. Alcohol can impair a boater’s judgment, balance, vision, and reaction time. Impairment can be even more dangerous for boaters than drivers because the sun, wind, noise, and the motion of being on the water can intensity the effects of alcohol.
Alcohol is also dangerous for boating passengers. Intoxication can lead to slips, falls overboard and other dangerous accidents.
To help ensure the safety of all boaters, the public is encouraged to designate a skipper for their vessel. Similar to a designated driver, the designated skipper will refrain from alcohol or drug consumption, and will be familiar with and be able to safely operate the vessel. For more information about safe boating, visit: www.uscgboating.org or http://ift.tt/1VPUP2s.
BUI laws pertain to all vessels, from canoes and rowboats to the largest ships.