This weekend, officers from the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission’s law enforcement division will participate in Operation Dry Water, an annual nationwide campaign that reminds boaters to never operate a boat while impaired.
“All public waterways in North Carolina are subject to additional patrols this weekend,” said Maj. Chris Huebner of the Wildlife Resources Commission. “It’s always a good idea to designate a driver, both for boating and for the drive home. In North Carolina, a driver or boat operator with a blood-alcohol level of .08 or higher is subject to arrest.”
Operation Dry Water is incorporated into North Carolina’s multi-agency “On the Road, On the Water, Don’t Drink and Drive” campaign. During the campaign, wildlife officers from the Commission and troopers from the State Highway Patrol on the highways work together to promote public safety.
Organized by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators and the U.S. Coast Guard, Operation Dry Water began in 2009 with the purpose of reducing boating fatalities involving alcohol. The use of drugs and alcohol affects safe operation of motor vehicles and watercraft – one in every four vehicle and boating deaths are impairment-related. Curbing the number of alcohol-related accidents and fatalities is key to achieving safer and more enjoyable recreational boating.
Drinking affects the skills necessary to operate a boat, including:
• Peripheral vision and ability to focus
• Judgment and rational decision-making
• Balance and equilibrium
- Coordination and reaction time
For more information on safe recreational boating or to enroll in a free boating education course by the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, go to http://www.ncwildlife.org/Boating.aspx or call 919-707-0030.