In a news release, as part of a nationally coordinated effort to reduce the number of accidents and fatalities related to boating under the influence (BUI) the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division Monday announced it will participate in Operation Dry Water Friday through Sunday.
The mission of Operation Dry Water is also to bring awareness and education to recreational boaters about the dangers of alcohol and drug use on the water.
"We are dedicated to keeping boaters safe on our waters. Boating is a safe and enjoyable pastime when people stay alert and follow the rules,” Lt. Col. Jeff Weaver said in a statement. "You will see our officers out on the water looking for boaters who are operating a vessel under the influence.”
Despite the fact that it is against the law nationwide for a person to operate a recreational vessel with an unlawful blood alcohol concentration (.08 or higher in Georgia), BUI continues to be a problem across the U.S.
Conservation rangers have made 71 arrests so far this year on state lakes and waterways in Georgia, and a total of 180 in 2012.
Operation Dry Water, a multi-agency, education and enforcement initiative launched by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators in 2009 in partnership with the U.S. Coast Guard, puts thousands of local, state and federal marine law enforcement officers on the water just before July 4 to give BUI enforcement high visibility before a holiday known for drinking and boating.
Information: visit www.operationdrywater.org or www.goboatgeorgia.com.