This weekend, the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department will be participating in Operation Dry Water as part of a nationally coordinated effort to raise awareness about the dangers of boating under the influence (BUI) and reduce the number of accidents and deaths related to alcohol and drug use on our waterways.
“Alcohol and drug use are among the leading contributing factors in recreational boater deaths,” said Sergeant Brian Ward. “We’re encouraging everyone to stay safe by staying sober out on the water. We want recreational boaters to have fun, but one impaired boater can ruin that for everyone.”
Operation Dry Water weekend, taking place June 24-26, is the national weekend of heightened enforcement of boating under the influence laws and recreational boater outreach.
Deputies from the Marine Services Unit will be patrolling our local waters to inform and educate boaters about the dangers and effects of boating while under the influence, and to enforce BUI laws.
During last year’s three-day weekend campaign, law enforcement officers nationwide contacted 125,087 boaters, made 278 BUI arrests and issued 17,942 citations and warnings for safety violations.
Boating Under the Influence Facts:
- Alcohol use can impair a boater’s judgment, balance, vision and reaction time. It can increase fatigue and susceptibility to the effects of cold-water-immersion.
- Sun, wind, noise, vibration and motion – “stressors” common to the boating environment – intensify the effects of alcohol, drugs and some medications.
- Alcohol is dangerous for passengers too. Intoxication can cause slips, falls over board and other dangerous accidents.