For Immediate Release
Tom Guess, Boating Safety Program Manager, 804-367-8693
NOTE: This news release was distributed on 6/25/2013. The information below may no longer be the most up-to-date information available, or may pertain solely to events that occurred in the past. Please contact the person listed as the contact person for this release for the most current information.
Boat Safely This Weekend: Operation Dry Water - June 28-30, 2013
Drinking alcohol and boating is never a good idea, but this weekend it would be an especially bad plan. Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries Conservation Police Officers (CPOs) will be patrolling the waterways of the Commonwealth this weekend conducting Boating Under the Influence (BUI) focused enforcement, saturation patrols, chemical (breath) tests, checkpoints, and educational efforts.
The Virginia CPOs will be joining thousands of other officers with local, state and federal agencies across the country for Operation Dry Water, a coordinated effort to be on the water providing heightened enforcement and awareness about the dangers of boating under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Despite the fact that it is against federal law and most state laws for a person with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher to operate a recreational vessel, BUI continues to be a major problem in the U.S. and accounts for a disproportional number of on the water deaths. Alcohol was a contributing factor in just 6 percent of boating accidents overall, but figured in 16 percent of boating fatalities.
Operation Dry Water 2013 is June 28-30, just before the Fourth of July, a holiday known for drinking and boating, and deadly accidents. Operation Dry Water is a nationwide education and enforcement initiative launched by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) in partnership with the U.S. Coast Guard.
In 2012, 51 states and U.S. territories participated in Operation Dry Water. More than 4,500 officers from 505 local, state, and federal agencies participated in 72 hours of heightened BUI enforcement. Officers were able to remove 337 BUI operators from the water while issuing an additional 14,514 boating safety citations and warnings.
Officers from all 56 U.S. states, trusts and territories are expected to participate in Operation Dry Water 2013 by educating the public and providing heightened BUI enforcement for the safety of those operating a vessel as well as other boaters on the water.
To learn more about hunting, fishing, boating and other outdoor opportunities in Virginia visit the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries' website: www.HuntFishVA.com.