DNREC Increases Enforcement For Operation Dry Water - 47 ABC - Delmarva's Choice

DNREC Increases Enforcement For Operation Dry Water

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DELAWARE - DNREC's Division of Fish and Wildlife Enforcement Section says they are participating in Operation Dry Water, an annual nationwide enforcement and education event aimed at preventing alcohol and drug-related boating accidents and fatalities.

According to reports, over the June 27-29 weekend before the Fourth of July holiday, the Enforcement Section will increase its presence on Delaware's waterways to educate boaters and crack down on operators whose blood alcohol level exceeds the state and federal limit of 0.08 percent.

According to national statistics released by the U.S. Coast Guard, alcohol use is a leading contributing factor to fatal boating accidents. Of the 4,062 boating accidents on the nation's waterways in 2013, 16 percent were caused by alcohol or drug intoxication. Nationally in 2013, 236 accidents reportedly involved alcohol use and resulted in 75 deaths and 187 injuries.

With eight boating-related accidents and no fatalities in 2013, officials say Delaware's accident rate is well below the national average. More than 58,000 boats and watercraft are reportedly registered in Delaware. 

According to reports, during Operation Dry Water in 2013, Delaware's agents made 530 contacts with boat operators and passengers and conducted 216 boardings while performing standard vessel safety checks and encouraging safe boating practices both in operations and required safety equipment. Twenty-seven citations were reportedly issued that weekend, including two arrests for operating under the influence (OUI), helping to raise awareness of and reduce unsafe boating practices.

Operation Dry Water is coordinated nationwide by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA), in partnership with state marine enforcement agencies and the U.S. Coast Guard.

For more information, visit Delaware Boating Safety.

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