SALEM, Ore. -

The Oregon State Marine Board and law enforcement partners from 32 counties and Oregon State Police will be participating in Operation Dry Water, June 27-29, as part of a nationally coordinated effort to reduce the number of accidents and fatalities related to boating under the influence of intoxicants).

The mission of Operation Dry Water also brings awareness and education to recreational boaters about the dangers of alcohol and drug use on the water.

Impaired boaters can expect to be arrested or face other serious penalties. In Oregon, the consequences of being convicted of BUII include the possibility of jail time, $6,250 in fines, and loss of boating or even driving privileges.

"We are dedicated to keeping boaters safe on our waters. Boating is a safe and enjoyable recreation when people stay alert and follow the rules," says Dale Flowers, Law Enforcement Training Coordinator for the Marine Board. "You will see marine patrols out on the water looking for boaters who show impairment which is pretty easy to detect, due to reckless operation and other unsafe behavior."

Alcohol impairs a person's judgment, reaction time, vision, and balance/coordination. Combined with the sun, glare, wind, waves and other motion, the effects of alcohol are amplified on the water.

Boating under the influence of drugs or alcohol continues to be a major problem across the nation. U.S. Coast Guard data reveals that alcohol is the primary contributing factor in recreational boating fatalities . Intoxicated boat operators and passengers run a significantly increased risk of being involved in a fatal boating accident.

Operation Dry Water is a nationwide education and enforcement initiative launched by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) in 2009 in partnership with the U.S. Coast Guard.

Operation Dry Water 2014 is a joint program of the Oregon State Marine Board, the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators, the U.S. Coast Guard, Oregon State Police and 32 Sheriff's Offices from around the state. For more information, visit www.operationdrywater.org.