Coast Guard, agency partners participate in Operation Dry Water
The Coast Guard, in conjunction with the Seabrook, Freeport and Houston Police Departments, the Jefferson County and Harris County Sheriffs Departments, and Texas Parks and Wildlife, will partner in an intensified nationwide effort to detect intoxicated boaters and enforce Boating Under the Influence laws on waterways Lake Charles to Freeport from June 24-26.
Coordinated by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators, Operation Dry Water will include increased patrols in order to reduce the number of alcohol and drug related accidents and fatalities along Texas and Louisiana waterways.
Launched by NASBLA in 2009, in partnership with the U.S. Coast Guard, Operation Dry Water is a national weekend of Boating Under the Influence detection and enforcement aimed at reducing the number of accidents as well as fostering a stronger deterrent to alcohol and drug use on the water. It is held annually in June just prior to the 4th of July holiday weekend, and numerous local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies across the country work together during this event to bring visibility to the dangers of BUI. Curbing the number of alcohol and drug-related accidents and fatalities is key to achieving a safer and more enjoyable environment for recreational boating.
Last summer, agencies and organizations from all 50 states and six U.S. territories participated in Operation Dry Water. Over that three-day weekend, contact was made with 40,127 vessels, resulting in law enforcement officers issuing 4,171 citations, affecting 322 BUI arrests and issuing 7,522 safety warnings.
BUI has become the leading contributing factor in fatal recreational boating accidents, and it is recommended that boaters avoid drinking alcoholic beverages. Alcohol can impair a boater’s judgment, balance, vision and reaction time as well as increase fatigue and susceptibility to the effects of hypothermia.
According to federal code, both the drinking of alcoholic beverages and being intoxicated on a boat are prohibited. This law, and others that prohibit drinking on the water, will be strictly enforced.