The Missouri State Highway Patrol will again participate in Operation Dry Water, according to a news release.
Operation Dry Water is in its 10th year and Missouri has participated since the program’s inception. This national campaign includes marine law enforcement officers from all 50 states and six U.S. territories. Officers will coordinate special patrols to keep waterways safe from boaters operating under the influence of alcohol or drugs. This year, June 29-July 1 has been designated as Operation Dry Water weekend.
“As a partner in this national campaign, troopers will focus their efforts on detecting and apprehending impaired boat operators,” MSHP Superintendent Col. Sandra K. Karsten said. “Consuming alcohol and then operating a vessel puts lives at risk. The Missouri State Highway Patrol joins its Operation Dry Water partners in stressing the importance of being sober when in and around water. Please don’t operate a vessel if you’ve consumed alcohol.”
Last year, 628 local, state, and federal agencies participated in a weekend-long event of heightened BWI enforcement known as Operation Dry Water. Officers removed 518 intoxicated boat operators from the water. In addition, law enforcement officers made contact with 243,853 boaters concerning BWI or boating safety enforcement and awareness.
In 2017, troopers arrested a total of 15 people statewide for boating while intoxicated, contacted 856 vessels and 2,745 boaters, and issued 146 boating violation summonses and 1,238 warnings on Missouri waterways. Marine operations troopers also issued 86 summonses for non-boating violations during the 2017 Operation Dry Water weekend.
Special enforcement operations will continue throughout the summer months. Boaters are reminded that designating a sober operator is always the safest bet if alcohol is going to be included in their boating experience.
Boating under the influence continues to be a leading factor in crashes and deaths on American waterways, according to recently released U.S. Coast Guard Recreational Boating Statistics.