PRATT – Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks (KDWP) game wardens will be on heightened alert for those boating under the influence during Operation Dry Water (ODW), July 2-4. ODW is part of a national effort to reduce accidents and fatalities related to boating under the influence (BUI). While ODW is a year-round campaign, an increase in awareness and enforcement efforts take place around July 4th, a holiday known for the potentially deadly combination of drinking and boating.
During ODW, KDWP game wardens will be looking for boaters whose blood alcohol content exceeds the state limit of 0.08. The weekend will include increased patrols, breathalyzer tests, life jacket checks and boater education. Impaired boaters can expect to be arrested or face other serious penalties. In Kansas, the consequences for BUI include fines, jail and loss of boating privileges.
“With large crowds of people celebrating the holiday by having a great time on the water boating, we want to remind everyone to be alert, follow the navigation rules and avoid the consumption of alcohol while operating vessels,” said KDWP boating law administrator Maj. Dan Hesket. “Impairment while on the water due to natural elements can happen at a much faster rate and cause a boat operator to make poor judgement in their operating maneuvers. It’s the mission of KDWP to keep our waters safe for all boaters to enjoy.”
Alcohol use continues to be the leading contributing factor in recreational boating accidents across the nation. Since the start of the ODW campaign in 2009, law enforcement officers across the nation have removed more than 4,700 impaired operators from our nation’s waterways, preventing dangerous and potentially catastrophic consequences.
ODW is a joint program of KDWP, the U.S. Coast Guard, and the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators to help spread awareness and prevent tragedies related to BUI. For more information, visit www.operationdrywater.org.
Information about Kansas boating regulations, registration, education, and requirements are available at www.ksoutdoors.com/boating.
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