Operation Dry Water looks for those boating under the influence
The Grays Harbor County Sheriff’s Office says that recreational boating fatalities last year were at their highest levels since 1998 and boating under the influence was the leading contributing factor. The report comes just one week before Sheriff’s Department participates in the national Operation Dry Water 2012 campaign. This nationwide campaign focuses on enforcement of BUI laws and educating all boaters to the risks of operating a boat under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.
Officers will be out in force June 22, 23 and 24 looking for boat operators whose blood alcohol content exceeds the state limit of .08. Impaired boaters may expect penalties that include fines and jail time.
“We intend to arrest intoxicated boaters and to educate as many boaters as possible about the dangers of boating under the influence,” says Deputy Brad Russell.
According to the U.S. Coast Guard boating under the influence of alcohol and drugs continues to be a major problem in the United States. Boat operators or even passengers with a blood alcohol concentration above the legal limit run a significantly increased risk of being involved in a fatal boating accident.
Operation Dry Water was launched in 2009 in partnership with the U.S. Coast Guard. The campaign puts thousands of marine law enforcement officers on the water nationwide to give BUI enforcement high visibility during the peak boating season.
Operation Dry Water 2012 is a joint program of the Grays Harbor County Sheriff’s Department, the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators, the U.S. Coast Guard, the Washington State Parks and Recreation Boating Programs, and local law enforcement officers from around the state.