News release by Indiana Department of Natural Resources:
In an effort to educate recreational boaters about the dangers of boating while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, Indiana Conservation Officers will participate in the annual Operation Dry Water national campaign, which is July 1-3 this year.
Alcohol use continues to be the leading known contributing factor in recreational boater deaths and a leading contributor in boating accidents. The mission of Operation Dry Water is to decrease their occurrence through amplified recreational boater outreach, education, and coordinated enforcement.
“Individuals and families from across the country head to our nation’s waterways for a fun, safe, and pleasant experience,” said Indiana Boating Law Administrator Lt. Kenton Turner. “Our goal is not only to educate boaters on the dangers of impaired boating, but also to remind them of other safe boating practices, such as enrolling in a boater education course and always wearing a life jacket.
“Indiana Conservation Officers want boaters to have a safe and enjoyable summer while out on the water, and to do that, boat operators and passengers must remain sober and alert while underway.”
As part of Operation Dry Water weekend, DNR Law Enforcement will work to identify and remove dangerous and impaired boat operators. Last year, law enforcement officers across the nation removed 794 impaired operators from the nation’s waterways during Operation Dry Water weekend.
Boat passengers, not just operators, should also avoid alcohol use.
“The risk of serious injury is the same for operators and passengers when drinking,” Turner said. “ Alcohol use by passengers presents a danger regardless of whether the operator is consuming alcohol.”
Conservation Officers encourage all boaters to enjoy this boating season and help keep everyone safe by choosing to boat sober all year long and remember that use of drugs, both legal and illegal, also impairs judgment and reaction time and creates dangerous circumstances while on the water.