SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. - The Law Enforcement Section of the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources will be participating in Operation Dry Water
June 28-30, 2013, 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 Operation Dry Water, being held the weekend of June 28-30, officers will be out in force looking for boaters whose blood alcohol content (BAC) exceeds the state limit of .08. This weekend will include increased patrols as well as boater education on impaired boat operations. Impaired boaters can expect to be arrested or face other serious penalties.
"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,” said Lt. Tim Coleman state coordinator of the WVDNR’s boating safety education program
. "You will see our officers out on the water looking for boaters who are operating a vessel under the influence.”
In 2012, WVDNR Natural Resources Police Officers investigated 25 reported boating accidents that included five fatalities.
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 West Virginia, the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators, and the U.S. Coast Guard. For more information, visit www.operationdrywater.org
Lt. Tim Coleman, Law Enforcement Section