If you drink booze and operate a boat, plan to get caught

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June 24th, 2009

Heavy law enforcement patrol efforts from the tri-state region will remove impaired boaters from the Colorado River at the end of the month as part of Operation Dry Water, a countrywide movement that has 48 states increasing OUI enforcement and awareness.

Operation Dry Water is a national campaign that was created to detect and remove impaired boaters from waters across the nation. It is organized by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) and the U.S. Coast Guard, and it will focus on enforcing Operating/Boating Under the Influence (OUI or BUI) laws June 26-28, 2009.

Among the many lakes and rivers across America, one of the most dangerous waterways west of the Mississippi is the Colorado River. As part of this national effort, Arizona, California and Nevada have joined forces to partake in interagency OUI checkpoints, saturation patrols, and outreach along the 233-mile system.

“The Colorado River system is a massive undertaking to enforce,” said Kevin Bergersen, Arizona’s boating law administrator. “However, it is important that every agency does their share since a significant number of alcohol-related accidents occur on the Colorado River,” he said. “These checkpoints remove dangerous boaters from the river enforcing the .08 Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) throughout, making it safe for everyone,” he said.

“We couldn’t do it without the help of local and state law enforcement agencies,” said Raynor Tsuneyoshi, California’s boating law administrator. “Our partnership with Arizona, Nevada and the counties, including the support of the U.S. Coast Guard, enables us to cover more territory making the river much safer.”

The primary purpose of the operation is to detect boat operators who are under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs and to provide boating safety education and outreach to all boaters contacted as part of this effort.

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