Coast Guard and partner agencies to increase enforcement of Boating-Under-the-Influence laws

LOS ANGELES – The Coast Guard will have an increased presence on the water this weekend, June 26 to June 28, enforcing boating under the influence laws as part of a national coordinated effort of stepped-up enforcement known as “Operation Dry Water.”

“The Coast Guard’s participation in Operation Dry Water this weekend will be a surge operation to compliment our daily on-the-water operations” said Lieutenant Commander Christopher Boes, Chief, Incident Management Division for Coast Guard Sector Los Angeles – Long Beach.

In addition to the Coast Guard, several other law enforcement agencies will be out in force on southern California’s waterways with increased enforcement on patrol, boating under the influence checkpoints as well as boater education.

In 2007 21 percent of deaths from recreational boating accidents involved the use of alcohol according to the statistics from the U.S. Coast Guard Office of Boating Safety (http://www.uscgboating.org/)

[amazon-product]B000NJIRWQ[/amazon-product]There will be zero tolerance for anyone found operating a boat under the influence of alcohol or drugs. If an operator is determined to be boating under the influence, the Coast Guard will take the person into custody and then turn them over to appropriate state authorities for further prosecution. Penalties may include fines, jail, impoundment of boats and loss of boating and/or driving privileges. “There will be arrests this weekend, and some boaters will face the consequences of boating under the influence, but we’d much rather arrest someone than to have to tell their friends and family they’re never coming back”, according to Boes.

Alcohol can impair a boater’s judgment, balance, vision, and reaction time. It can increase fatigue and susceptibility to the effects of cold-water immersion. Sun, wind, noise, vibration, and motion – “stressors” common to the boating environment – intensify the side effects of alcohol, drugs, and some prescription medications.

Operation Dry Water is a joint program of the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) and the U.S. Coast Guard.

To find out more visit the Operation Dry Water website or visit http://www.uscgboating.org. You can also follow Operation Dry Water on Twitter and Facebook.

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