The following is a release from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission:
As the summer recreational boating season gets into full swing, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is ramping up its efforts as part of a national campaign to stop boating under the influence.
The annual three-day campaign, Operation Dry Water, focuses on deterring boaters from boating under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
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June 26-28, law enforcement agencies nationwide will be out looking for boaters operating under the influence and removing them from the water. The purpose of increased messaging about the dangers of boating under the influence and officers identifying impaired operators is to drastically reduce the number of accidents and deaths due to impaired boating.
“We want everyone to have an opportunity to safely enjoy Florida’s waterways. It is our job as law enforcement to identify and remove impaired boaters from the water so that everyone else can continue to have an enjoyable boating season and not become a victim of boating under the influence. Protecting the public is a critical mission,” said Col. Curtis Brown, director of FWC’s Division of Law Enforcement. “Our agency is participating in Operation Dry Water, and joining thousands of law enforcement officers nationwide, to decrease the number of accidents, injuries and deaths that come as a result of boaters who choose to boat impaired.”
In Florida it is illegal to operate a vessel with a blood alcohol content level of .08 or higher, just as it is for operating a vehicle. The FWC wants to remind boaters to stay safe this summer by staying sober on the water. Alcohol use is one of the leading contributing factors in recreational boater deaths. During the national weekend of heightened awareness and high-visibility enforcement, boaters can expect to see increased messaging about this dangerous and preventable crime.