'Operation Dry Water' goal: Avert boating tragedy

Crackdown on BUI: boating under the influence

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 28-30, as part of a nationally coordinated effort to reduce the number of accidents and fatalities related to boating under the influence (BUI).

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.  

During the Operation Dry Water, being held the weekend of June 28-20, marine officers will be out in force looking for boaters whose blood alcohol content (BAC) exceeds the 0.08% state limit for blood alcohol concentration.

 This weekend will include increased patrols on popular waterways and breath testing, as well as educating boaters about the effects of alcohol and boat operation.

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

"We are dedicated to keeping boaters safe on our waters. Boating is a safe and enjoyable pastime 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 easy to detect in many cases due to reckless operation and other unsafe behavior."

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 2013 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..

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