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:­rywater/enforcemen­t/participat­ing-agencies.

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