NYS raising awareness of boating under the influence

NEW YORK (NEWS10) – New York State joins ‘Operation Dry Water’ to deter Boating Under the Influence (BUI) during the 4th of July weekend. State Park Police and other law enforcement agencies will be on heightened alert patrols for those violating BUI laws.

Operation Dry Water is an awareness and enforcement campaign to help reduce the number of alcohol and drug-related incidents and fatalities through increased recreational boater awareness which was launched in 2009. Last year, this effort involved more than 7,500 officers across the country, resulting in about 115,000 vessel stops and more than 42,000 citations and warnings, including 638 BUI arrests.

Boating while intoxicated is dangerous and illegal and can lead to serious consequences including arrest, serious injuries, and even death. law enforcement agencies will work to increase public awareness of the dangers of boating under the influence for both operators and passengers making arrests under a zero-tolerance approach.

Penalties for BUI include fines, jail, the impoundment of your boat, and the loss of boating privileges. In New York State, it is illegal to operate a vessel with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 percent or higher. Boaters are reminded to always boat sober and to wear a life jacket when on or around the water. 

Additionally, New York continues to phase in Brianna’s Law, which requires all operators of motorized watercraft to complete a state-approved boating safety course. Adopted in 2019, the law currently requires all motorboat operators born on or after Jan. 1, 1993, to have a boating safety certificate. 

Officials said failure to comply carries a potential fine of between $100 to $250. Beginning in 2022, that requirement has been extended to all boaters born on or after Jan. 1, 1988.

In 2023, the requirement will be extended to those born on or after Jan. 1, 1983, and in 2024, extends to January 1, 1978. The law will apply to all operators regardless of age beginning in 2025. 

Operation Dry Water is a year-round awareness campaign with a national weekend intended for law enforcement agencies across the country to intensify efforts on preventing incidents related to BUI. The campaign will include educating boaters about safe boating practices, including sober boating they said.

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