NEW YORK – Coast Guard and local law enforcement officers are scheduled to participate in Operation Dry Water, Friday through Sunday, as part of a nationally coordinated effort to reduce the number of accidents and deaths related to boating under the influence.
During the operation, Coast Guard boarding teams and law enforcement officers in the tri-state area will focus on detecting impaired boaters and educating the public about the dangers of boating under the influence.
Piloting a recreational vessel with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher is against federal and most state laws. Boaters caught operating under the influence will have their voyage terminated and their vessel impounded. Additionally, penalties can include arrest, fines, and loss of boating or driving privileges.
The National Association of State Boating Law Administrators launched Operation Dry Water in 2009 in partnership with the Coast Guard.
Operation Dry Water is held just prior to the Fourth of July holiday; a holiday known for increased boaters on the water where alcohol use is prevalent, as are subsequent accidents and fatalities.
Boating under the influence has become the leading contributing factor in fatal recreational boating accidents. Alcohol can impair a boater’s judgment, balance, vision, and reaction time as well as increase fatigue and susceptibility to the effects of cold-water immersion.
In 2015, 582 local, state and federal agencies participated in the operation. Over the three-day weekend, law enforcement contacted 125,087 boaters, made 278 BUI arrests, and issued 17,942 citations and warnings for safety violations.
For more information on Operation Dry Water, please visit operationdrywater.org.