DEEP: DEEP Environmental Conservation Police Participating in National Crackdown on Boating Under the Influence

2016 Press Release
 
06/24/2016

DEEP Environmental Conservation Police Participating in National Crackdown on Boating Under the Influence

Increased patrols planned on waters in Connecticut Friday through Sunday
 
With the recreational boating season in full swing, the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) Environmental Conservation (EnCon) Police and partner agencies are ramping up enforcement efforts as part of a national crackdown on Boating Under the Influence (BUI).
 
Starting this Friday, June 24 through Sunday, June 26, the weekend just prior to the July 4th holiday, law enforcement in Connecticut and nationwide will show zero tolerance for BUI. Boaters can expect to see an increase in the numbers of officers on the water and at recreational boating checkpoints. The goal of all law enforcement involved is to remove impaired operators from the waterways and secure a safe and enjoyable boating experience for those on the water.
 
The nationwide awareness and enforcement campaign, Operation Dry Water, is a partnership of  the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators and the U.S. Coast Guard with a mission of putting an end to impaired boating. The goal of Operation Dry Water is to raise awareness about the dangers of BUI and to reduce the number of accidents and deaths attributed to impaired boating. 
 
“There will be a lot of boaters out enjoying the warmer weather and we want them to know we will be out making sure the water stays safe for everyone," said Col. Kyle Overturf, the commander of DEEP’s EnCon Police.  "Just as drinking and driving on the road is illegal and dangerous, we want to emphasize that drinking and boating is equally as dangerous. It can also lead to equally severe consequences, including arrests, termination of voyage, serious injuries and even death."
 
Alcohol use is the leading contributing factor in recreational boating deaths in the United States.  Whether a person is operating a car on the road, or a boat on the water, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is illegal and can lead to serious consequences for operators and passengers alike. In Connecticut it is illegal to operate a vessel with a blood alcohol concentration level of .08 or higher – the same as it is to operate a vehicle. If you are found to be impaired and operating a boat, you will be arrested. 
 
In Connecticut over the past ten years, alcohol has been a factor in 43% of fatalities caused by boating accidents – 26 of the 61 fatalities in the past decade.
 
The Connecticut State Police, Middletown Police and the U.S. Coast Guard Station New London are partnering with EnCon Police to conduct Operation Drywater in Connecticut.
 
Visit operationdrywater.org or ct.gov/deep for more information about boating under the influence.