WEST TRENTON – This weekend, New Jersey State Police troopers from the Marine Services Bureau will participate in Operation Dry Water, a national boating under the influence, (BUI) initiative sponsored by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators, (NASBLA) in partnership with the United States Coast Guard.
Operation Dry Water runs from June 28-30, and is a weekend of BUI enforcement aimed at reducing the number of alcohol and drug related accidents and fatalities on the water. Troopers will be conducting BUI patrols and educating the public on the hazards of boating under the influence.
In 2012, two people lost their lives due to alcohol related boating accidents on New Jersey waterways. State law prohibits the operation of a vessel by a person with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 percent or more. A BUI conviction will result in the suspension of a person’s privilege to operate a vessel and forfeiture of their driver’s license.
U.S. Coast Guard 2012 data reveal that alcohol use was the leading contributing factor in fatal boating accidents. It was listed as the leading factor in 17 percent of fatalities from recreational boating accidents.
Alcohol can impair a boater’s judgment, balance, vision, and reaction time. It can increase fatigue and susceptibility to the effects of cold water. Sun, wind, noise, vibration, and motion, which are stressors common to the boating environment intensify the side effects of alcohol, drugs, and some medications.
For more information about New Jersey boating laws and regulations, please visit the New Jersey State Police, Marine Services Bureau website at: www.njsp.org/maritime.
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