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Operation Dry Water to target impaired boaters

Over the holiday weekend the Everett Police Department will be cracking down on boating under the influence as part of Operation Dry Water. In cooperation with our law enforcement partners, we will have increased presence and enforcement of boating under the influence and other laws.
Boating under the influence can be even more dangerous than driving under the influence. Photo courtesy of Snohomish County.

From a July 1, 2021, Everett Police Department press release.

Over the holiday weekend the Everett Police Department will be cracking down on boating under the influence as part of Operation Dry Water.

In cooperation with our state and federal law enforcement partners, we will have increased presence and enforcement of boating under the influence and other boating laws this weekend.

We want everyone to have a fun and safe boating experience.

Operation Dry Water first launched in 2009 by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) in cooperation with the U.S. Coast guard and agencies from across the nation.

Since its inception, Operation Dry Water weekend is held annually near the Fourth of July holiday, a holiday known for increased boaters on the waters where alcohol use is prevalent, as are subsequent boating accidents and fatalities.

It is important to take steps as law enforcement to educate against and reduce boating under the influence as operating a boat with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 or higher is
against federal law and Washington State law.

Use of alcohol and other substances can impair a boater’s judgment, balance, vision, and reaction time. It can also increase fatigue and susceptibility to the effects of cold-water immersion. These effects are amplified by factors common while boating, such as sun, wind, noise, vibration and motion.

Boating under the influence can be even more dangerous than driving under the influence as most boaters have less experience operating a boat than driving a car.

Alcohol use is the leading known contributing factor in fatal boating accidents, in a 2019 study by the U.S. Coast Guard they found that it was the leading cause of 23% of boating deaths.

These boating fatalities do not just include operator errors either, a separate study by the NASBLA showed that whether you are an operator or a passenger, the risk of death is the same if you are drinking on a boat.

Since 2009 the highly successful program has led to the removal of 4,720 BUI operators from the nation’s waterways and contacted over 1.8 million boaters during the annual three-day weekend.

We are excited to participate as the campaign continues to make a significant impact on boater safety and spreading the message of the danger of boating under the influence.

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