West Virginia Natural Resources Police Officers will patrol the state’s rivers and lakes during Operation Dry Water July 5-7, part of a national campaign to reduce accidents related to boating under the influence.
The goal of Operation Dry Water is to raise awareness about the dangers of boating under the influence and to reduce the number of accidents and deaths attributed to impaired boating, according to a release from the W.Va. Division of Natural Resources.
Officers will be out in force, looking for boaters whose blood alcohol concentration meets or exceeds 0.08, the legal limit in West Virginia.
In 2018, Natural Resources Police Officers in West Virginia arrested five operators who were boating under the influence and issued 98 citations and warnings for safety violations.
The nationwide awareness and enforcement campaign, Operation Dry Water is a partnership of the U.S. Coast Guard, the W.Va.Natural Resources Police, and the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators.
The use of alcohol can impair a boater’s judgment, balance, vision, and reaction time.
Alcohol use is the leading contributing factor in recreational boating deaths in the U.S., and it is illegal in every state and territory to operate a boat while under the influence of alcohol.
Boating under the influence also applies to drugs. Even some prescription medications can make operating a recreational vessel unsafe. Visit operationdrywater.org or wvdnr.gov for more information about boating under the influence.