Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Boating on Tap for the Start of Summer

Warning to boaters: The beginning of summer 2011 features an increased enforcement of BUI laws...
Don't be this guy. Avoid drinking while boating this summer.

The first day of summer marks the beginning of boating season for a lot of folks. While you’re having fun with family and friends out on the water, keep in mind that authorities are stepping up the enforcement of drinking and boating laws this year.

It begins with a bang this upcoming weekend, June 24-26, with something called Operation Dry Water (ODW). ODW is an annual campaign focused on the detection and enforcement of boating under the influence (BUI). Throughout the weekend, marine law enforcement officers from local, state and various federal agencies will be out in force looking for unsafe boaters.

New Tests for the Legal Limit
There is a new battery of testing standards that will be used by all levels of law enforcement to test boaters on the water. The tests are performed with boaters in a seated position and apply a percentage of probability that the subject is impaired at .08 blood alcohol concentration (BAC) or higher. Operating a recreational vessel with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher is against federal and most state laws. Boaters caught operating under the influence may find their voyage terminated and their vessel impounded.

Avoid Getting Caught
If you thought you were going to find the secret to getting away with drinking and boating here, you are mistaken. Sorry. The only way to be safe and avoid getting arrested is to stay put if you are drinking, or to avoid drinking and boating altogether. Think of a way to stay safe every time you’re out. Nominate a designated driver. Sleep on your boat and leave the next morning. Leave your boat at the bar and hop on a water taxi. You’ll get to keep your boat, keep everybody safe, and live to enjoy boating another day.

Both boaters and law enforcement officials can learn more about ODW at operationdrywater.org


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