June 27, 2013
Connecticut Marine Law Enforcement Officials Set to Crackdown on Impaired Boaters
Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) Environmental Conservation (EnCon) Police will be stepping up enforcement activities this weekend on those who may be boating under the influence. EnCon Police officers will participate in Operation Dry Water and will be out in force June 28-30 looking for boaters with a Blood Alcohol Content exceeding the state limit of .08%. Operation Dry Water will include state wide increased patrols and checkpoints, as well as boater education efforts. Impaired boaters can expect penalties to be severe. In Connecticut they include fines, jail and loss of boating privileges.
“We intend to educate as many boaters as possible about the hazards of Boating while Under the Influence and make arrests if need be,” said Captain Ryan Healy of the EnCon Police and spokesperson for the Operation Dry Water Campaign. “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.”
Boating while Under the Influence (BUI) continues to be a major problem in Connecticut and the U.S. In Connecticut last year, 67% (4 of 6 reportable accidents) of boating accidents that resulted in fatalities were alcohol-related and 29% (6 of 21 reportable accidents) of accidents with injuries were alcohol-related.
A boat operator or even passengers with a blood alcohol concentration above the legal limit run a significantly increased risk of being involved in a fatal boating accident. When impaired by alcohol, boating accidents are more probable and more deadly for both passengers and boat operators, many of whom capsize their vessel or simply fall overboard.
Operation Dry Water (ODW), a multi-agency, education and enforcement initiative launched by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) in 2009 in partnership with the U.S. Coast Guard, puts thousands of local, state and federal marine law enforcement officers on the water nationwide prior to the July 4th holiday to give BUI enforcement high visibility during the peak boating season. For more information, visit www.operationdrywater.org
or the DEEP website at http://www.ct.gov/deep/enconpolice