The Port Orchard Police Department and the Washington State Parks Boating Programs want your support by taking the pledge to never operate a boat while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Operation Dry Water (ODW) is a national boating under the influence (BUI) campaign developed by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators and the United States Coast Guard.
Now in its fifth year, ODW partners with the recreational boaters, as well as local, state and federal law enforcement agencies to bring attention to the dangers of drinking and boating. ODW encourages boaters to pledge to make wise decisions about alcohol use, and never drink while boating.
The campaign focuses on preventing accidents, injuries and deaths resulting from people abusing alcohol or drugs while operating boats.
The 2012 U.S. Coast Guard Recreational Boating Statistics stated that alcohol is the leading contributing factor in fatal boating accidents. According to Washington State Parks Boating Programs, between 2007 and 2013, at least 36 people died in reportable boating accidents where alcohol use was a contributing factor.
As with drinking and driving, boating while intoxicated is illegal and may result in jail time, fines, or both.
Boaters that would like to show their support for the campaign can “Take the Pledge” to never boat under the influence through the Operation Dry Water website at www.operationdrywater.org under the “Boaters” section. Boaters that choose to take the pledge are pledging to stay safe and sober while boating.
The site also provides information tailored specifically for the boating public including BUI fast facts, social media information, an impairment chart estimator, and other information on the dangers of boating under the influence.
The Washington State Parks Boating Safety Program is a leader in boating safety and environmental education and outreach, with the purpose of reducing accidents and fatalities, increasing stewardship of Washington waterways, and keeping recreational boating a safe, accessible, and enjoyable pastime.
For more information on boating regulations, visit www.boat.wa.gov.