Operation Dry Water “Boating Under the Influence”
Enforcement will be Underway
Richmond, VA — Virginia boaters, take note that
this weekend, June 24th-26th, Conservation Police Officers with the
Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF) will be
patrolling Virginia’s waterways looking for boat operators with a
blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher. Operation Dry Water
is a national effort coordinated by the National Association of
State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA).
Boating under the influence is not only dangerous to watercraft
operators, but also to their passengers and others who enjoy
Virginia’s waterways. Nationwide almost 20 percent of
boating-related fatalities are a result of alcohol, drugs, and some
medications. These substances can slow reaction times, impair
vision, and lead to boating accidents.
Operating a boat with a blood alcohol concentration of .08
percent or higher is illegal in Virginia. Penalties may include
fines, jail, impoundment of boats, and loss of boating privileges.
Other consequences could include higher insurance rates and impacts
on employment as a BUI conviction is a public record.
Boaters should never boat under the influence of alcohol or
drugs. Designate an operator or leave the alcohol on shore.
In an effort to promote increased awareness of the dangers of
boating while under the influence, VDGIF asks Virginians to support
programs and policies that help reduce the incidence of impaired
boating, to promote safer and healthier behavior regarding the use
of alcohol and other drugs and to provide opportunities for all to
participate in and enjoy a safe recreational boating season this
For more information about Operation Dry Water and boating laws
in Virginia visit www.dgif.virginia.gov.
Background on Operation Dry Water
Operation Dry Water is a coordinated, national weekend of
Boating Under the Influence (BUI) detection and enforcement aimed
at reducing the number of alcohol-related recreational boating
accidents and fatalities and fostering a stronger and more visible
deterrent to alcohol use on the water.
This nationwide effort is being coordinated by the National
Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) working in
concert with the states, the United States Coast Guard, and other
partner agencies across the country.
VDGIF Conservation Police Officers will be patrolling the
waterways in the Commonwealth during this weekend and will be
conducting BUI focused enforcement, saturation patrols, chemical
(breath) tests, checkpoints, and educational efforts.
Last year there were 105 reported boat accidents in Virginia
resulting in 15 deaths. Regrettably, alcohol use plays a role in
many boating accidents, and failure to wear a life jacket also
contributes to many fatalities on the water each year. More
information about boating incidents in Virginia can be found on the
agency website www.dgif.virginia.gov.
Recreational boaters need to know:
* Always Wear a Life Jacket
* Do Not Mix Alcohol and Boating
* Take a Safe Boating Course.
Our ultimate goal is for recreational boaters to Be Safe… Be
Responsible… And Have Fun!