■ STAFF REPORT
As the summer recreational boating season gets into full swing, the FWC Law Enforcement Division will be out in force June 24-26, looking for boaters who choose to boat under the influence, and then removing them from the water.
The annual three-day, heightened awareness and enforcement campaign, Operation Dry Water, focuses on deterring boaters from boating under the influence of alcohol or drugs. It is hoped that increased awareness of the dangers of boating under the influence, along with officers focused on identifying impaired operators, will drastically reduce the number of accidents and deaths due to impaired boating. “It is our job as law enforcement officers to identify and remove impaired boaters from the water so that everyone else can continue to have an enjoyable boating season and not become victims of boating under the influence.
Protecting the public goes to the heart of our mission,” said Maj. Richard Moore, FWC’s boating and waterways section leader. “Our agency is participating in Operation Dry Water and joining thousands of law enforcement officers nationwide to decrease the number of accidents, injuries and deaths that come as a result of boaters who choose to drink and boat.” In Florida it is illegal to operate a vessel with a blood alcohol level of .08 or higher.
Alcohol use is one of the main contributing factors to recreational boater deaths. During the national weekend of heightened awareness and high-visibility enforcement, boaters can expect to see an enhanced law enforcement presence and increased messaging about this dangerous and preventable crime.