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FWC Reminds People To Not Be “Boating Under The Influence” This Holiday Weekend

Operation Dry Water is a year-round Boating Under the Influence awareness campaign that facilitates a national weekend of BUI detection and enforcement aimed at reducing the number of alcohol- and drug-related boating incidents and fatalities. This year, Operation Dry Water weekend will take place July 1-3. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) has been involved with the 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. 

The Fourth of July holiday is one of the busiest boating holidays across the country. With more than a million registered recreational vessels, Florida is recognized as the “Boating Capital of the World.” FWC and partner agencies are responsible for keeping the millions of visitors and residents who enjoy the state’s beautiful waterways safe. Last year law enforcement removed 93 impaired operators from Florida waterways during Operation Dry Water. 

“Our officers are committed to addressing the issue of impaired boating year-round,” said Maj. Rob Beaton, FWC’s Boating and Waterways Section Leader. “Ensuring the safety and enhancing the overall boating experience for the people enjoying our beautiful waterways is a priority for us. We will be patrolling statewide during the upcoming weekend and throughout the holiday looking for any signs of boater impairment.” 

Operating a vessel while under the influence of alcohol or drugs is illegal on all bodies of water and 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. 

The FWC reminds boaters to designate an operator who will remain sober to ensure the safety of everyone with them and around them, and encourages boaters wear a life jacket and take a boating education course.

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Carl Fish

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