Operation Dry Water brings heightened law enforcement to N.C. waters

Published 3:29 pm Tuesday, August 27, 2019

The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission’s law enforcement division 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.

During the annual campaign, enforcement officers will conduct sobriety checkpoints and promote public awareness to deter impaired operation of vessels.

In North Carolina, a driver or vessel operator with a blood-alcohol concentration that meets or exceeds .08, or is substantially impaired by alcohol and/or drugs, is subject to arrest.

“Designating a driver is always a great idea, whether it be on the road or on the water,” said Lt. Sam Craft. “It’s an easy way to be safe and avoid fines and potential jail time over the Labor Day holiday weekend.”

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’s “Preserve Your Life” campaign 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 are prohibited on state waters between sunset and sunrise.

For more information about boating in North Carolina, visit www.ncwildlife.org/boating.

Since 1947, the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission has been dedicated to the conservation and sustainability of the state’s fish and wildlife resources through research, scientific management, wise use and public input.

The Commission is the state regulatory agency responsible for the enforcement of fishing, hunting, trapping and boating laws and provides programs and opportunities for wildlife-related educational, recreational and sporting activities.

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