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'Operation Dry Water' Campaign Cracks Down on Impaired Boating Nationwide

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Over the July 4th holiday weekend, law enforcement officers and agencies across the United States will be on the water educating boaters on safe boating practices as part of the annual Operation Dry Water weekend, July 2 – 4, 2022.

LEXINGTON, Ky., June 23, 2022 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ -- Over the July 4th holiday weekend, law enforcement officers and agencies across the United States will be on the water educating boaters on safe boating practices as part of the annual Operation Dry Water weekend, July 2 – 4, 2022. Operation Dry Water (ODW) is a national awareness and enforcement campaign focused on reducing the number of alcohol- and drug- related incidents and fatalities on the water. Officers will also be on heightened alert looking for those in violation of boating under the influence laws. The month of July sees the highest total number of recreational boating incidents nationally.*

On Friday, July 1st, the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA), in partnership with the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA), U.S. Coast Guard, and Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), will be hosting the first-ever national Operation Dry Water kickoff event in Nashville, Tennessee. The press event will begin at 10:30 AM (CT) at J. Percy Priest Lake.

"While many boaters are out enjoying the holiday responsibly, there are always some who choose make the perilous decision to boat while impaired," says Lt. Kenton Turner, NASBLA Chair. "NASBLA is looking forward to using this press event to help amplify the message that impaired and intoxicated boating is dangerous and deadly, for both operators and passengers. We encourage everyone out on the water to stay safe by choosing to boat sober, wear a life jacket and use an engine cut-off switch."

Alcohol use is the leading contributing factor in recreational boater fatalities, and a leading factor in recreational boating incidents.* Law enforcement agencies from all 56 U.S. states and territories are expected to participate in Operation Dry Water. These agencies will focus their efforts on detecting impaired boaters, removing them from our nation's waterways and educating the public about the dangers of boating under the influence of alcohol and drugs.

Since the launch of the Operation Dry Water campaign in 2009, 5,320 impaired operators have been removed from our nation's waterways, preventing dangerous and potentially tragic consequences. Officers have also made contact with over 2.2 million boaters during the annual three-day weekend as part of the outreach campaign. In 2021, 575 agencies from every state and territory participated in Operation Dry Water.

Alcohol consumption while boating is not only dangerous for the operator of the vessel, but also for passengers.** Impairment can lead to slips, falls overboard, injuries and deaths that could have been prevented had the individual not been impaired while boating.

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Operation Dry Water (ODW) is produced under a grant from the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund, administered by the U.S. Coast Guard and is a product of the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA).

*2021 U.S. Coast Guard Recreational Boating Statistics
**2019 NASBLA Boating Under the Influence (BUI) Research Report

Media Contact

Taylor Matsko, National Association of State Boating Law Administrators, 859-225-9487, taylor.matsko@nasbla.org

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SOURCE National Association of State Boating Law Administrators