Twin Lakes PD will be increasing patrols on lakes June 22-24

Recreational boating fatalities last year jumped to their highest levels since 1998 and boating under the influence (BUI) was the leading contributing factor, according to the U.S. Coast Guard’s report, 2011 Recreational Boating Statistics.

The report comes just weeks before Twin Lakes Police Department Water Patrol officers participate in Operation Dry Water 2012, an annual nationwide campaign focused on enforcement of BUI laws and educating all boaters to the risks of operating a boat under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. Officers will be out in force on Lakes Mary and Elizabeth June 22-24 looking for boaters whose blood alcohol content (BAC) exceeds the state limit of.. .08 % Operation Dry Water (ODW) will include increased patrols as well as boater education.

Impaired boaters can expect penalties to be severe. In Wisconsin the consequences for BUI include fines, jail and loss of boating or even driving privileges.

“We intend to reach out to as many people as possible about the hazards of boating under the influence,” said Lt. Dennis Linn, the TLPD spokesperson for Operation Dry Water.

BUI continues to be a major problem in the U.S. A boat operator or even passengers with a blood alcohol concentration above the legal limit run a significantly increased risk of being involved in a fatal boating accident. Alcohol was a contributing factor in just 6 percent of boating accidents overall, but figured in 16 percent of boating fatalities in the U.S. last year. When impaired by alcohol, boating accidents are more probable and more deadly for both passengers and boat operators, many of whom capsize their vessel or simply fall overboard. Operation Dry Water (ODW), a multi-agency education and enforcement initiative launched by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) in 2009 in partnership with the U.S. Coast Guard, puts thousands of local, state and federal law enforcement officers on the water nationwide prior to the July 4 th holiday to give BUI enforcement high visibility during the peak boating season.

“Boating is a safe and enjoyable pastime when people stay alert and follow the rules,” Linn said. “We want boaters to understand the added risks associated with BUI and to avoid drinking and boating. Unfortunately some boaters may face the consequences of boating under the influence. We will be diligent in educating boaters on both Lake Mary and Lake Elizabeth here in Twin Lakes.”

Operation Dry Water 2012 is a joint program of the Twin Lakes Police Department, the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators, the U.S. Coast Guard and the Department of Natural Resources. For more information, visit www.operationdrywater.org.

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  1. triguy says:

    What a load of neo-prohibitionist propaganda.
    Operation Dry Water is actually a “non-profit” origanization similar to MADD with a year round political adgenda that culminates in their annual two week push leading up to the July 4th weekend.
    They get local governmental organizations on-board because ODW has already rigged the system to work for their agenda.
    Through lobbying, they get politico’s to fund their agenda, which cuts general law enforcement budgets but hangs a carrot back in front of the agencies if they agree to focus on their agenda.
    Seems like money could be better spent on trying to prevent some of the other 94% causes of accidents and not trampling individual freedoms with an “improvment for society” front.

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