Boating safety campaigns, heightened law enforcement continue on NC waters

Published 11:45 pm Sunday, June 24, 2018

From N.C. Wildlife Resource Commission

RALEIGH — The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission and its partners will continue the “On the Road, On the Water, Don’t Drink and Drive” campaign and participate in the “Operation Dry Water” campaign over the upcoming holiday weekends.
From June 29 through July 1, wildlife officers will focus on boating law compliance on the waterways and spread public awareness for “Operation Dry Water,” a national campaign that promotes sobriety while boating.
These enhanced enforcement initiatives will continue from July 6-8 during the “On the Road, On the Water, Don’t Drink and Drive” campaign. The annual multi-agency initiative works to ensure safe travel on the road and enjoyment on the water during summer holidays. In North Carolina, a driver or boat operator with a blood-alcohol concentration that meets or exceeds .08 is subject to arrest.
“Being charged for boating under the influence of alcohol is a terrible way to spend a holiday weekend,” said Lt. Sam Craft. “You can easily avoid fines and potential jail time by being safe and designating a driver.”
Drinking affects the skills necessary to operate a boat, including:

  • Peripheral vision and ability to focus
  • Judgment and rational decision-making
  • Balance and equilibrium
  • Coordination and reaction time

The Commission reminds all boaters to put on a life jacket before entering a vessel. Wearing a life jacket is a simple safety precaution that can prevent tragedy from happening in the event of an accident.
Boating at night typically increases during holiday weekends, so boaters should practice caution and be on high alert due to reduced visibility. Inland lighting rules are in effect and water skiing is prohibited between one hour after sunset and one hour before sunrise. Personal watercraft, such as jet skis, are prohibited on state waters between sunset and sunrise.
The “On the Road, On the Water, Don’t Drink and Drive” campaign is coordinated by the Commission and the State Highway Patrol, and supported by local police and sheriff’s offices, along with participating non-governmental organizations such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving.
For more information about boating in North Carolina, visit