Florida Boating (File)

Florida Cracks Down On Boating Under The Influence During ‘Operation Dry Water’

Florida Boating (File)
Florida Boating (File)

As the Fourth of July weekend approaches, Florida is gearing up for a heightened enforcement effort targeting Boating Under the Influence (BUI) through Operation Dry Water.

This nationwide campaign aims to educate recreational boaters about the dangers of alcohol and drug use while on the water, ultimately reducing related incidents and fatalities.

From July 4-6, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), alongside other law enforcement partners, will focus on BUI detection and enforcement.

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Alcohol remains the leading factor in recreational boater deaths and a major contributor to boating accidents. Operating a vessel under the influence is illegal on all bodies of water, as both legal and illegal substances impair judgment and reaction time, potentially leading to severe consequences.

During Operation Dry Water weekend, boating safety advocates, volunteers, and law enforcement personnel will collaborate nationwide to educate boaters about safe practices at marinas and on the water.

In Florida, where over a million recreational vessels are registered, FWC officers will increase patrols statewide, actively seeking signs of boater impairment.

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“The Fourth of July is one of the busiest boating holidays in the country,” said Col. Brian Smith, Director of FWC’s Division of Law Enforcement. “And with more than a million registered recreational vessels in Florida, our officers are committed to ensuring the safety of everyone on the water. We will be educating the public in the days leading up to the holiday and will increase patrols statewide looking for any signs of boater impairment.” 

Last year, FWC officers removed 94 impaired operators from Florida waterways during Operation Dry Water, highlighting the ongoing issue. To enjoy a safe and enjoyable boating experience, the FWC urges boaters to remain sober, wear life jackets, and take a boating education course.

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