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.
“Boaters in Connecticut are generally safe boaters thanks to mandatory boating education. However, when alcohol is combined with stressors such as sun, wind, waves and engine noise, a fun day on the water can turn tragic,” 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 factor in too many boating deaths and injuries 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 involved alcohol.
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.
EnCon Police participated in the National Operation Dry Water activities in June. The National Operation Dry Water activity was 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. ODW puts thousands of local, state and federal marine law enforcement officers on the water nationwide. EnCon Police made four BUI arrests during ODW. For more information about Connecticut’s activities, visit the DEEP website at www.ct.gov/deep/enconpolice