Operation Dry Water, a national campaign aimed at deterring drinking and boating, will be in full force in Minnesota Friday, June 29 - Sunday, July 1.  That means public safety agencies will increase patrols looking for intoxicated boaters.

According to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, the ultimate goal of Operation Dry Water is to reduce the number of BWI-related boating accidents and fatalities.  In 2017, alcohol was a factor in half (six of 12) of the deadly boating accidents in Minnesota, which is slightly higher than the five-year average.

Before you think about drinking and boating, consider these facts:

  • The federal BAC legal limit for operating a vessel under the influence is .08.
  • Alcohol use can impair a boater’s judgment, balance, vision and reaction time.
  • If you boat under the influence your voyage may be terminated, the boat may be impounded and the operator may be arrested. Penalties vary by state but can include fines, jail and loss of boating or even driving privileges.
  • Sun, wind, noise, vibration and motion —“stressors” common to the boating environment— intensify the effects of alcohol, drugs, and some medications.
  • Alcohol use can increase fatigue and susceptibility to the effects of cold-water immersion.
  • Alcohol is dangerous for passengers too. Intoxication can cause slips, falls over board and other dangerous accidents.
  • If you boat under the influence of drugs or alcohol you are endangering your life and the lives of others.

Follow the link below for complete details on this campaign, including a listing of state-by-state BWI laws and penalties.