The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police recently announced Delaware’s active participation in Operation Dry Water, an annual nationwide enforcement and education campaign aimed at preventing alcohol- and drug-related boating accidents and fatalities.
During the weekend of June 30 to July 2, Fish & Wildlife officers will increase their presence on Delaware’s waterways to educate boaters and increase enforcement efforts against operators whose blood alcohol level exceeds the state and federal limit of 0.08 percent. Boat operators at or above the limit will be arrested and may have their vessel impounded, as well as facing fines and potential jail time.
Alcohol use is a leading contributing factor to fatal boating accidents, according to national statistics released by the U.S. Coast Guard. To avoid putting themselves, their passengers and other boaters at risk, boat operators are urged to stay sober, follow safe boating practices and plan ahead to have a non-drinking, designated boat operator on board if alcohol is consumed.
During Operation Dry Water in 2016, Delaware officers made 1,405 contacts with boat operators and passengers and conducted 150 boardings while performing standard vessel safety checks and encouraging safe boating practices in operations and required safety equipment. Twenty citations were issued that weekend, helping to raise awareness of and reduce unsafe boating practices. One citation was issued for operating a vessel under the influence.
Operation Dry Water is coordinated nationwide by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators, in partnership with state marine enforcement agencies and the U.S. Coast Guard.
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