Virginia.gov

News Release

For Immediate Release
6/23/2014
Contact
Captain A.B. "Tony" Fisher, Region 2 Law Enforcement Manager, (434) 525-7522

NOTE: This news release was distributed on 6/23/2014. 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.

Virginia Participating in Operation Dry Water to Raise Awareness of Dangers of Boating Under the Influence

Richmond, VA — The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF) will be participating in Operation Dry Water as part of a nationally coordinated effort to raise awareness about the dangers of boating under the influence (BUI) and reduce the number of accidents and deaths related to alcohol use on our waterways.

Operation Dry Water weekend, June 27-­29, is the national weekend of heightened enforcement of boating under the influence laws and recreational boater outreach. VDGIF will be reaching out as part of the yearlong Operation Dry Water campaign to inform and educate boaters about the dangers and effects of boating while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Alcohol use is the leading contributing factor in recreation boater deaths in the United States. By participating in Operation Dry Water, VDGIF is helping to keep recreational boaters safe and working toward reducing the number of accidents and deaths on the water.

"Our agency wants to encourage boaters to enjoy the upcoming recreational season in a safe and responsible way," says Colonel Ron Henry, Chief of Law Enforcement for the Virginia Conservation Police. "Drinking alcohol and operating a boat can have deadly consequences and is never a good idea. Our goal is to make sure everyone enjoys their time on the water in the safest manner possible."

In Virginia, boaters whose blood alcohol content (BAC) level exceeds the state limit of [.08] can be arrested for BUI and face serious penalties upon conviction including, a fine of up to $2500 and incarceration for a period up to 12 months. Additionally, the operator may lose his privilege to operate a boat for one year on a first offense and up to three years for any subsequent offense. VDGIF supports the Operation Dry Water message, which encourages boaters to never boat under the influence and enjoy their time on the water responsibly.

Operation Dry Water is a joint program of the VDGIF the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators, the U.S. Coast Guard and other state agencies. For more information on Operation Dry Water, please visit: http://www.operationdrywater.org/.