The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) will be participating in the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators “Operation Dry Water” (ODW) event, June 26-28. ODW is a nationally-coordinated effort to reduce the number of accidents and deaths related to boating under the influence (BUI). During this three-day period, KDWPT officers will be conducting increased patrols, breathalyzer tests, and checkpoints, as well as providing boater education and outreach.
“Studies have found that people become impaired faster when boating as opposed to driving due to additional factors such as heat, dehydration, wind and wave action,” said KDWPT assistant director of law enforcement, Major Dan Hesket. “Our goal is to promote awareness of the hazards relating to boat operations while intoxicated and to prevent any accidents, injuries, or deaths due to operating while impaired.”
Hesket encourages anyone who suspects a boater to be intoxicated to dial 911 and provide the operator with the location, the suspect boat’s registration numbers, and a complete description of the operator and passengers.
Boaters whose blood alcohol content (BAC) level exceeds the state limit of .08 percent can expect to be arrested for BUI and face other serious penalties including fines, jail time and loss of boating or even driving privileges.
According to Hesket, the KDWPT Law Enforcement Division averages approximately 11 special enforcement efforts over the ODW weekend, resulting in four to eight BUI arrests each year.
For more information, visit operationdrywater.org.