According to the Coast Guard’s report, alcohol was a contributing factor 19 percent of boating fatalities in the U.S. last year. Between 2007 and 2011, the Washington State Parks Boating Safety Programs reports at least 30 people were killed in boating accidents where alcohol was a contributing factor.
“When impaired by alcohol, boating accidents are more probable and more deadly for both passengers and boat operators, many of whom capsize their vessel or simply fall overboard ,” says Byrd.
Operation Dry Water (ODW) was launched in 2009 by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) in partnership with the U.S. Coast Guard. The campaign puts thousands of local, state and federal marine law enforcement officers on the water nationwide prior to the July 4th holiday to give BUI enforcement high visibility during the peak boating season.
Byrd went on to say “There will be arrests this weekend, and some boaters will face the consequences of boating under the influence. Boating is a safe and enjoyable pastime when people stay alert and follow the rules. We want boaters to understand the added risks associated with BUI and to avoid drinking and boating.”
Operation Dry Water 2012 is a joint program. The Mason County Sheriff’s Office partners with Washington Department of Wildlife, 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.