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Marine Law Enforcement: 'Zero Tolerance' for Intoxicated Boaters

State EnCon Police will step up enforcement activities this weekend in order to nab those who may be boating under the influence.

State marine law enforcement officials are warning Connecticut boaters to stay sober this weekend as officers take to the waters nationwide for an extra push to catch those who may be boating under the influence.

'Operation Dry Water'

DEEP EnCon Police will participate in Operation Dry Water. The officers will be out in force June 22-24 looking for boaters with a blood alcohol content exceeding the state limit of 0.08 percent.

Operation Dry Water will include statewide increased patrols and checkpoints, as well as boater education efforts. Impaired boaters can expect penalties to be severe. In Connecticut they include fines, jail and loss of boating privileges.

"We intend to arrest intoxicated boaters and to educate as many boaters as possible about the hazards of Boating while Under the Influence,” said Colonel Kyle Overturf of the EnCon Police and spokesperson for the Operation Dry Water Campaign. "There will be arrests this weekend, and some boaters will face the consequences of boating under the influence. We want recreational boaters to enjoy themselves, but there will be zero tolerance for BUI."

Boating Under the Influence

Boating While Under the Influence (BUI) continues to be a major problem in Connecticut and the U.S. Alcohol was a contributing factor in 16 percent of boating fatalities in the U.S. last year. 

In Connecticut, increased from six during 2001-2005 to 22 from 2006-2010.  In 2011, DEEP EnCon Police made 15 arrests for BUI statewide. 

A boat operator or even passengers with a blood alcohol concentration above the legal limit run a significantly increased risk of being involved in a fatal boating accident. 

When impaired by alcohol, boating accidents are more probable and more deadly for both passengers and boat operators, many of whom capsize their vessel or simply fall overboard.

More Information

Operation Dry Water — a multi-agency, education and enforcement initiative launched by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators in 2009 in partnership with the U.S. Coast Guard — puts thousands of local, state and federal marine law enforcement officers on the water nationwide prior to the July 4 holiday to give BUI enforcement high visibility during the peak boating season.

For more information, visit operationdrywater.org or the DEEP website at ct.gov/deep/enconpolice.

Flowers June 23, 2012 at 01:43 PM
Is this like a designated driver rule where one person, the driver, doesn't drink or does everyone on board need to be under the limit?
Dominic Dafonzo June 24, 2012 at 07:27 PM
Don't worry, the shoreline town of Madison has no police marine patrol so the coast is clear. Maybe D.E.E.P. around Hammo. Beach on some very rare ocassions but that's about it.

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