As part of a nationally coordinated effort to educate boaters about the dangers of boating while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department will be participating in Operation Dry Water. Operation Dry Water is a year-round national campaign focused on raising awareness about boating under the influence. Alcohol use is the leading known contributing factor in recreational boater deaths and a leading contributor in boating accidents.
“Our goal is to educate boaters, not only about the laws regarding boating under the influence, but to help boaters understand the danger of boating impaired. Certain factors on the water such as wind, sun, noise and the rocking of the boat all impair a boater’s judgment, balance, vision and reaction time on the water,” said Aaron Kerr, Game and Fish law enforcement coordinator. “At any given moment there are individuals in the water, on paddleboards or in other boats that depend on boat operators to be alert and in control of their vessel. People’s lives depend on it.”
Game and Fish is asking boaters to enjoy this boating season and help keep everyone safe by not drinking alcohol while on the water or operating a boat after you have consumed alcohol. Use of both legal and illegal drugs also impairs judgment and reaction time and makes it dangerous to operate a boat.
In addition to the year-round campaign, the annual Operation Dry Water heightened awareness and enforcement weekend will take place June 29-July 1. This three-day weekend is a national weekend of increased enforcement of boating under the influence laws and recreational boater outreach. In 2017, 518 impaired operators were removed by law enforcement across the country during Operation Dry Water Weekend.
As part of Operation Dry Water, law enforcement and recreational boating safety educators and volunteers will be out on the water informing boaters about safe boating practices and removing impaired operators from the water.