As the summer recreational boating season gets into full swing, the Florida Fish & Wildlife Commission’s Law Enforcement Division is ramping up its enforcement efforts.
FWC officers will participate this weekend in Operation Dry Water, a national crackdown on boating under the influence. The annual three-day heightened awareness and enforcement campaign focuses on deterring boaters from boating under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Law enforcement agencies nationwide will be out in force June 24-26, looking for boaters who choose to boat under the influence and removing them from the water. Increased awareness about the dangers of boating under the influence, along with officers focused on identifying impaired operators, aim to 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 a victim 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 leading contributing factors in recreational boater deaths, officials said.