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“Operation Dry Water” Coming To Area Lakes

KSAL Staff - June 25, 2013 9:00 am

The weekend will include increased patrols, breathalyzer tests, life jacket checks and boater education.

The weekend will include increased patrols, breathalyzer tests, life jacket checks and boater education.

Kansas Wildlife, Parks, and Tourism law enforcement officers will mobilize this weekend to enforce Boating Under the Influence laws as part of a national effort.

According to the Kansas Wildlife, Parks, and Tourism Department, Kansas will participate in “Operation Dry Water”.

Operation Dry Water is an education and enforcement weekend aimed at reducing alcohol and drug related accidents and fatalities both on the road and on the water. Held each year during the weekend before the 4th of July holiday, Operation Dry Water is coordinated by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators in partnership with states, the U.S. Coast Guard and other partner organizations.

According to the agency, BUI is a major problem across the nation. According to U.S. Coast Guard Recreational Boating Statistics 2012, alcohol is the primary contributing factor in recreational boating fatalities. Intoxicated boaters run a significantly increased risk of being involved in a fatal boating accident. During calendar year 2012, Kansas recorded 27 boat accidents, of which two resulted in a fatality, 12 resulted in injuries, and 13 involved only property damage. Two people were killed, 13 were injured and there was an estimated $112,321 in property damages.

Kansas Wildlife, Parks, and Tourism officers are responsible for patrolling the waters of Kansas and conducting boat accident investigations, boat safety inspections, BUI checks, safety programs, education classes and other boating related activities.

During Operation Dry Water, officers will be out in force looking for boaters whose blood alcohol content exceeds the state limit of 0.08. The weekend will include increased patrols, breathalyzer tests, life jacket checks and boater education. Impaired boaters can expect to be arrested or face other serious penalties. In Kansas, the consequences for BUI include fines, jail and loss of boating privileges.

During the 2012 Operation Dry Water, eight arrests were made for BUI offenses.

This effort is timed to give BUI enforcement high visibility before the Fourth of July, traditionally one of the busiest recreational boating weekends of the summer.

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