Colorado Parks & Wildlife ramps up boating patrols, checkpoints June 28-30
Ryan Summerlin July 1, 2013
Colorado Parks and Wildlife will be participating in Operation Dry Water June 28-30, as part of a nationally coordinated effort to reduce the number of accidents and fatalities related to boating under the influence (BUI).
The mission of Operation Dry Water also brings awareness and education to recreational boaters about the dangers of alcohol and drug use on the water.
During the Operation Dry Water weekend enforcement campaign, CPW officers will be out in force looking for boaters whose blood alcohol content exceeds the state limit of .08. This weekend will include increased patrols and checkpoints as well as boater education. Impaired boaters can expect to be arrested or face other serious penalties. In Colorado the consequences for BUI include fines, jail time and loss of boating privileges.
“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,” says Kris Wahlers, boating safety coordinator. “You will see our officers out on the water looking for boaters who are operating a vessel under the influence.”
Boating under the influence of drugs or alcohol continues to be a major problem across the nation. U.S. Coast Guard data reveals that alcohol is the primary contributing factor in recreational boating fatalities. Intoxicated boat operators and passengers run a significantly increased risk of being involved in a fatal boating accident. Last year in Colorado, about 50 percent of fatal and 24 percent of non-fatal boat accidents involved alcohol and/or drugs.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife wants to remind all boaters to take a boating safety class, wear your life jacket and don’t booze and boat.
Operation Dry Water 2013 is a joint program of Colorado Parks and Wildlife, the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators and the U.S. Coast Guard. For more information, visit operationdrywater.org.