The Reporter (Vacaville)

Division of Boating and Waterways encourages boaters to avoid alcohol over holiday weekend

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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.

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