National Results for Operation Dry Water Released

Georgia Game Wardens participated in the mid-Summer nationwide crackdown on boating under the influence

DNR Press Release | November 4, 2018

The weekend before the July 4th holiday, Georgia Game Wardens joined with boating officers across the nation in heightened awareness and enforcement of boating under the influence (BUI) laws as part of the national Operation Dry Water (ODW) campaign. In partnership with the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA), ODW is designed to increase boater awareness of the hazards of BUI, and decrease the number of accidents and deaths attributed to impaired boating. Operation Dry Water was launched in 2009, and Georgia Game Wardens have participated every year.

From June 29-July 1, 2018, the designated ODW reporting period, 145 Georgia Game Wardens patrolled 51 different waterways and contacted more than 3,500 boaters. They issued 142 boating citations and 235 warnings and removed 10 drunk boaters from the state’s waterways. Across the nation, statistics for ODW included 494 BUI arrests, and 26,565 citations and safety warnings issued. National participation included 574 agencies with 7,418 officers who logged 201,888 boater contacts.

Operating a vessel under the influence of alcohol or drugs is illegal on all bodies of water and can lead to serious injuries and consequences. In Georgia, it is illegal to operate a vessel with a BAC level of .08 or higher—the same BAC as operating a vehicle under the influence. Nationwide, alcohol is the leading contributing factor in recreational boating deaths and a major contributor to boating incidents.

Georgia boating statistics from Jan. 1-Oct. 31, 2018 include 183 BUI arrests, 48 drownings, 134 boating incidents that resulted in 15 fatalities. For comparison, in all of 2017 there were 189 BUIs, 63 drownings, 135 boating incidents with 15 fatalities.

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