Friday, June 26, 2009

Enforcement Of Boating Under The Influence Laws To Be Stepped Up June 26-27-28

As part of a national coordinated effort, the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department’s Marine Enforcement Detail will be stepping up staffing and enforcement for Operation Dry Water. The Sheriff’s Marine Enforcement Detail will be out in force on Sacramento County waterways June 26-27-28 looking for boat operators whose Blood Alcohol Content exceeds the state limit of .08 percent. Operation Dry Water will include increased enforcement of local waterways as well as boater education.

"There will be zero tolerance for anyone found operating a boat under the influence of alcohol or drugs on our waters,” said California Boating Safety Officers Association President Cary Smith. “There will be arrests this weekend, and some boaters will face the consequences of boating under the influence, but we'd much rather arrest someone than to have to tell their friends and family they're never coming back."

Alcohol can impair a boater’s judgment, balance, vision, and reaction time. It can increase fatigue and susceptibility to the effects of cold-water immersion. Sun, wind, noise, vibration, and motion – “stressors” common to the boating environment – intensify the side effects of alcohol, drugs, and some prescription medications.

A person convicted of operating a vessel while intoxicated could receive up to a $1,000 fine, six months in jail or both.

Operation Dry Water is a joint operation including California, the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) and the U.S. Coast Guard. Additionally, twenty-nine California law enforcement agencies will be participating in the program throughout the state. To find out more about Operation Dry Water, please visit For California boating safety information and laws, please visit

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