The Reporter (Vacaville)
Division of Boating and Waterways encourages boaters to avoid alcohol over holiday weekend
California State Parks, its Division of Boating and Waterways (DBW) and more than 40 law enforcement entities across California will be participating in a nationwide boating under the influence effort (BUI) for the Fourth of July holiday.
Dubbed “Operation Dry Water,” law enforcement entities will increase patrols and carry out BUI checkpoints on this holiday known for being one of the deadliest holidays for recreational boating accidents.
For the 12th straight year, the goal of the Operation Dry Water campaign is to reduce the number of alcohol and drug-related accidents and fatalities, and educate water enthusiasts about the deadly consequences of BUI. California and U.S. Coast Guard recreational boating accident statistics repeatedly show alcohol as a contributing factor, accounting for more than 20% of California’s boating fatalities over the past five years, where testing was conducted.
Nationally, alcohol is the leading contributing factor in fatal recreational boating accidents, according to the National Association of State Boating Law Administrator.
It is against the law in California to operate a boat or water ski with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or more. Officers may also arrest boaters with a BAC less than 0.08% if conditions are deemed unsafe.
BUI convictions can result in up to six months in jail and/or fines of up to $1,000. Two convictions within seven years could add a jail term of up to one year. Boaters caught operating under the influence may also have their voyage terminated and their vessel impounded.
A map of participating agencies with their contact information can be found at: nasbla.org/operationdrywater/enforcement/participating-agencies.