Drinking alcohol and boating is never a good idea, but this weekend it would be an especially bad plan. Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries Conservation Police Officers will be patrolling the state’s waterways this weekend, conducting Boating Under the Influence (BUI) focused enforcement, saturation patrols, chemical (breath) tests, checkpoints, and educational efforts.
The Virginia CPOs will be joining thousands of other officers with local, state and federal agencies across the country for Operation Dry Water, a coordinated effort to be on the water providing heightened enforcement and awareness about the dangers of boating under the influence of drugs or alcohol, according to a release from the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries.
Although it is against federal law and most state laws for a person with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher to operate a recreational vessel, BUI continues to be a major problem in the U.S. and accounts for a disproportional number of on the water deaths, the release said. Alcohol was a contributing factor in just 6 percent of boating accidents overall, but figured in 16 percent of boating fatalities, the release stated.