Do Not Drink And Boat on The 4th

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Operation Dry Water is a year-round effort to educate boaters about the dangers of boating under the influence of alcohol or drugs. A heightened enforcement weekend July 4-6 will see FWC and other law enforcement partners focusing efforts on Boating Under the Influence detection and enforcement.

The mission of Operation Dry Water is to reduce the number of alcohol- and drug-related incidents and fatalities on the water. The FWC has been involved with the Operation Dry Water campaign since its inception in 2009 and this year will continue to play a vital role in protecting lives, promoting safe boating practices, ensuring legal compliance and fostering a culture of responsible behavior on the water during the Operation Dry Water weekend taking place July 4-6.

Alcohol use continues to be the leading known contributing factor in recreational boater deaths and leading contributor to boating accidents. Operating a vessel while under the influence of alcohol or drugs is illegal on all bodies of water and the use of both legal and illegal drugs impairs judgment and reaction time that can lead to series injuries and consequences. In Florida, it is illegal to operate a vessel with a blood alcohol content of .08 or higher, the same as in a vehicle.

During Operation Dry Water weekend, boating safety advocates, volunteers and law enforcement personnel will collaborate to educate boaters on safe boating practices at marinas and on the water in every U.S. state and territory. The FWC and other participating law enforcement agencies will work to identify and remove dangerous or impaired vessel operators. Last year, FWC law enforcement officers removed 94 impaired operators from Florida waterways during Operation Dry Water.

“The Fourth of July is one of the busiest boating holidays in the country,” said Col. Brian Smith, Director of FWC’s Division of Law Enforcement. “And with more than a million registered recreational vessels in Florida, our officers are committed to ensuring the safety of everyone on the water. We will be educating the public in the days leading up to the holiday and will increase patrols statewide looking for any signs of boater impairment.”

The FWC reminds boaters that the best way to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience on the water is to choose to remain sober and alert, to wear a life jacket and take a boating education course.

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