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June 16, 2014 at 11:32 AM

Washington to crack down on drunk boating

Party boats: At a recent Seafair, boats are tied up at a log boom in Lake Washington. Authorities are warning Washington boaters against "BUI" - boating under the influence of alcohol or drugs. (Greg Gilbert / The Seattle Times, 2012)

Party boats: At a recent Seafair, boats are tied up at a log boom in Lake Washington to watch the hydro races and air show. Authorities are warning Washington boaters against “BUI” – boating under the influence of alcohol or drugs. (Greg Gilbert / The Seattle Times, 2012)

Don’t boat drunk. Or drugged.

That’s the word from Washington state’s marine law-enforcement agencies who will hold “Operation Dry Water” on June 27-29.

Marine patrols, and educational efforts, will warn people of the dangers (and illegality) of  “BUI” – boating under the influence of alcohol or drugs – on that weekend. And they’ll cite anyone who’s boating impaired.

At least 64 people have died in Washington boating accidents in which drinking was a contributing factor from 2004 to 2013, according to the Washington State Parks Boating Program.

“Boating under the influence is a serious problem that too often results in recreational boating fatalities,” said a statement from Hoyle Hodges, Washington State Parks’ spokesperson for Operation Dry Water. “We want everyone to have fun on the water, so this campaign is focused on zero tolerance for boat operators who are under the influence.”

In last year’s “dry water” campaign, 169 Washington marine law enforcement officers were in contact with  3,908 recreational boaters and issued 1,364 boating safety warnings, 6 BUI citations and 219 citations for other violations, according to Washington State Parks.

Get more information on boating laws and recreation through the Washington State Parks Boating Program.

Comments | More in boating | Topics: Operation Dry Water, Washington state boating

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