Boaters beware. Connecticut law enforcement will be cracking down on all boaters operating their crafts while “under the influence this weekend (June 27-29) in a joint effort between the State’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Environmental Conservation Police, other state and local police departments, as well as with members of the United States Coast Guard. Known as “Operation Dry Water”This includes increased patrols and checkpoints along all waterways. There will also be a number of educational programs regarding boating safety.
The heightened patrols are also meant to give marine law enforcement a higher profile prior to the 4th of July holiday next week.“The purpose of Operation Dry Water is to educate as many boaters as possible about the hazards of boating while under the influence and to reduce the number of alcohol and drug related accidents and deaths on the water,” stated campaign spokesman Captain Ryan Healy of the EnCon Police.“If you are caught boating under the influence, you will face the consequences. We want recreational boaters to enjoy themselves, but there will be zero tolerance for BUI.”Penalties for those caught operating a boat with a blood alcohol level above the state limit of .08% can expect to be hit with fines, jail-time and loss of boating privileges.
Boating Under the Influence continues to be a major problem in Connecticut and the U.S. Between 2008 and 2012, 19 out of 105 boating accidents in the state involved injuries due to consumption of alcohol, while 18 of 38 accidents proved fatal. “A boat operator or even passengers with a blood alcohol concentration above the legal limit run a significantly increased risk of being of falling overboard, crashing or even capsizing their vessels,” Captain Healy added.