Summer has officially arrived! But with it comes increased risk associated with outdoor drinking and drug use. This Friday, Natural Resources Police, the Coast Guard and other maritime law enforcement agencies in Maryland will participate in the increased enforcement weekend of Operation Dry Water.
What is Operation Dry Water?
Operation Dry Water is an ongoing awareness and enforcement campaign to reduce alcohol or drug-related accidents and deaths that occur as a result of operating water vehicles and boats under the influence. When individuals choose to operate boats when they are impaired, they put not only their own lives, but the lives of others at risk. Operation Dry Water’s website states that “Alcohol use was the the leading factor in nearly one-fourth of recreational boating deaths (21%) in 2014.”
Impaired Boating in Maryland
Many who live in Maryland take advantage of our many waterways to enjoy the summer on the water. Just to name a few, Deep Creek Lake, the Patuxent River, the Chesapeake Bay, and the Atlantic Ocean, are all major outlets for boating and recreation for Marylanders. However, many people every year neglect safe boating practices, which include not operating a boat under the influence of alcohol or drugs. In fact, many consider drinking and boating to go hand in hand. However, boating under the influence (BUI) is the same as driving under the influence- anyone with a blood alcohol level (BAC) of .08 or above can be arrested for BUI. And, just like driving under the influence, penalties can range from fines to jail time to loss of boating (and drivers!) license.
ODW Crackdown Weekend in MD
This weekend, July 24-26, law enforcement officials will be out in full force, checking boat operators for sobriety levels and promoting safe boating awareness. This shouldn’t be taken lightly, and Maryland officials have zero tolerance for those who endanger others in this manner. Last year, for example, 9 people were arrested for impaired operating, 87 tickets were issued, and 727 vessel safety checks were conducted. If you are a boater in Maryland, practice safe boating practices at all times. Drinking and boating isn’t worth the risk! Do your part to make sure that you and other boaters are able to have a safe and happy summer.
If you or someone you know has a problem with alcohol or drugs, call the treatment professionals at Serenity Acres today for your free confidential assessment. 1-800-203-20240