Nationwide Boating Under the Influence Enforcement Operation Sees Over 500 Arrests

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Operation Dry Water (ODW) is a year-round boating under the influence awareness and enforcement campaign. The mission of ODW is to reduce the number of alcohol- and drug-related accidents and fatalities through increased recreational boater awareness and by fostering a stronger and more visible deterrent to alcohol use on the water. During the 2019 Operation Dry Water weekend, July 5 - 7, more than 7,600 law enforcement officers were on patrol, identifying impaired boaters and removing them from the water.

2019 Operation Dry Water Weekend

Thanks to our law enforcement partners, we are seeing the positive results of Operation Dry Water. Accidents and injuries are being avoided because law enforcement officers are there to remove impaired boaters from the water.

During the 2019 Operation Dry Water weekend, more than 7,600 law enforcement officers were on patrol, identifying impaired boaters and removing them from the water. Operation Dry Water is a year-round boating under the influence (BUI) awareness and enforcement campaign. Preliminary results from the campaign’s heightened awareness and enforcement weekend, which took place nationwide July 5 – 7, indicate that approximately 560 arrests were made over the three-day weekend related to boating under the influence.

The National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA), through grant funding administered by the U.S. Coast Guard, coordinates the Operation Dry Water campaign and the participation of law enforcement nationwide. The campaign’s targeted enforcement weekend is held annually near July 4th, a holiday that consistently sees a rise in alcohol and drug related boating injuries and fatalities on the water.

Recently released U.S. Coast Guard recreational boating statistics show that nearly 25% of all boating accidents in 2018 happened in July alone1. The report also confirms that alcohol use continues to be the leading known contributing factor in recreational boating deaths2. Operation Dry Water and its partners work to prevent these accidents through education and enforcement.

“While many boaters are out enjoying the holiday responsibly, there are always those who make the dangerous decision to boat while impaired and under the influence,” says Lt. Mark Brown, NASBLA President. “Thanks to our law enforcement partners, we are seeing the positive results of Operation Dry Water. Accidents and injuries are being avoided because law enforcement officers are there to remove impaired boaters from the water. This allows responsible boaters to stay safe and to continue enjoying their time on the water.”

Operation Dry Water serves as a reminder to the boating public that boating while impaired is extremely dangerous and BUI laws are strictly enforced on our nation’s waterways.

The 2020 Operation Dry Water heightened awareness and enforcement weekend will take place nationwide, July 4 – 6, 2020.

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Operation Dry Water (ODW) is a year-round boating under the influence awareness and enforcement campaign with the mission of reducing the number of alcohol- and drug-related accidents and fatalities through increased recreational boater awareness and by fostering a stronger and more visible deterrent to alcohol use on the water. Operation Dry Water was launched in 2009 by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) in partnership with the U.S. Coast Guard. Operation Dry Water is produced under a grant from the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund, administered by the U.S. Coast Guard and is a product of the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators.
1-2 2018 U.S. Coast Guard Recreational Boating Statistics.

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Taylor Matsko
@OpDryWater
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