The National Association of State Boating Law Administrators partnered with the Coast Guard and other law enforcement agencies to target intoxicated boat operators.
Seeking to increase public awareness of the dangers of boating under the influence and remove impaired boaters from the nation’s waterways, the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators partnered with the U.S. Coast Guard and state and local law enforcement agencies to conduct the fifteenth annual Operation Dry Water on July 1-3.
Over the weekend, 488 law enforcement organizations deployed 7,767 officers who arrested 717 boaters for operating under the influence. Additionally, law enforcement personnel interacted with more than 300,000 boaters during patrols providing an opportunity for officers to educate boaters and raise awareness about the dangers related to boating under the influence of alcohol and recreational drugs.
“Every impaired boater creates a hazardous situation not only for themselves but also for fellow recreators out on the water,” Lt. Curt Lewis, NASBLA chair, said in a statement. “The substantial law enforcement presence on the water, coupled with the heightened outreach and educational endeavors of the ‘Operation Dry Water’ campaign, has contributed to a safer and more enjoyable environment for recreational boaters.”
In addition to enforcement efforts on the water, NASBLA worked with states, safety organizations and the U.S. Coast Guard to develop and execute the Operation Dry Water marketing and outreach campaign. The campaign’s targeted enforcement weekend takes place each year around the July 4th holiday, when there has been an increase in boating incidents and fatalities related to alcohol and drug impairment. The 2024 Operation Dry Water heightened awareness and enforcement weekend will be July 4-6, 2024.
NASBLA coordinates Operation Dry Water through a grant from the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund administered by the U.S. Coast Guard.