Colorado River Tri-State: San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department’s Colorado River Station will be actively participating in Operation Dry Water 2018.
According to the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department’s Colorado River Station, the Marine Enforcement Unit will be patrolling the Colorado River and Lake Havasu this weekend participating in Operation Dry Water from Friday, June 29th, 2018 to Sunday, July 1st, 2018 in the Colorado River Tri-State area, including the Needles, California area and Havasu Lake, California areas near Lake Havasu.
The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department’s Colorado River Station’s goal is to reduce the number of drug and alcohol related accidents on the water. Remember to designate a sober operator.
According to the California Department of Parks and Recreation, launching Operation Dry Water before the Fourth of July holiday is key to preventing accidents and saving lives. California and U.S. Coast Guard recreational boating statistics repeatedly show the Fourth of July as the deadliest holiday for accidents. Alcohol was a contributing factor in 31 percent of California’s boating fatalities over the past five years where testing was conducted. Nationally, alcohol is the leading known contributing factor in fatal boating accidents.
“California’s waterways during the upcoming Fourth of July holiday will be crowded,” stated Division of Boating and Waterways Acting Deputy Director/Boating Law Administrator Ramona Fernandez. “It is critical that boat operators be sober and attentive of their surroundings to safely react to unforeseen circumstances. Designating a sober passenger to help check unsafe behaviors is helpful. It is also important to know that even drunken passengers are at risk. They can easily fall overboard, swim near a propeller or lean over the side.”
Everyone onboard a boat is at risk when using alcohol and/or drugs and this may:
- Impair a boater’s judgment, balance, vision and reaction time.
- Increase fatigue and susceptibility to the effect of cold-water immersion.
- Intensify common boating “stressors” of sun, wind, noise and vibration.
- Intensify the side effects of alcohol, drugs and some prescription medications.
It is important to note that there is no open container law for recreational boaters, but it is against the law in California to operate a boat or water ski with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or more.
A person with a BAC less than 0.08 percent may be arrested if conditions are deemed unsafe. BUI convictions can result in up to six months in jail and/or fines of up to $1,000.
Two convictions within seven years could add a jail term of up to one year. Boaters caught operating under the influence may also have their voyage terminated and their vessel impounded.
** A map of participating agencies with their contact information can be found at the following website address: **
** California specific boating laws and safety tips may be found at the following website address: **
Launched in 2009 by NASBLA in partnership with the United States Coast Guard, Operation Dry Water has been a highly successful campaign, drawing public attention to the dangers of boating under the influence (BUI) of alcohol and drugs.
Since it began in 2009, law enforcement officers have removed 3,038 BUI operators from the nation’s waterways and made contact with over 1.1 million boaters during the annual three-day weekend.
The campaign continues to make a significant impact on boater safety and spreading the message of the danger of boating under the influence.
According to the California Department of Parks and Recreation, in an Operation Dry Water 2017 Annual Report, NASBLA named California’s San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Office the “Top Agency Award – Small Category” for deploying 10 officers and making 13 boating under the influence arrests during last year’s campaign.
** More information regarding Operation Dry Water can be found at the following website address: **
** Picture Above from the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department’s Colorado River Station: **