Operation Dry Way Helps Prevent Boating Accidents and Fatalities

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An annual campaign, Operation Dry Way, detects and enforces boating under the influence (BUI) on Washington State’s waterways. The campaign took place the last weekend of June.

And as part of Operation Dry Water, the annual campaign detected and enforced boating under the influence laws on the state's waterways.

The campaign worked hard to prevent accidents, injuries and deaths resulting from people abusing alcohol or drugs while operating boats.

According to Washington State Parks Boating Programs, since 2004, alcohol was a factor in at least 30 percent of the 169 people in fatal boating accidents. Three of the eight deaths in 2011 from boating accidents, saw alcohol as a factor.

The main goal of this nationwide campaign is to identify and stop boating while under the influence. Another important goal is to raise awareness among all boaters that it is illegal to operate a boat under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol. While many people do not associate BUI’s to be as serious as DUI’s, they most definitely are.

In the campaign from the previous year, the results were astounding. Law enforcement officers from 50 states and six territories made contact with 66,472 recreational boaters, made 322 BUI arrests and issued 4,171 citations and 7,522 warnings for other safety violations.

Follow the law: It is illegal in every state and territory to operate a boat while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. This includes canoes, rowboats, yachts and more. Drivers of the boat will be cited if their blood alcohol concentration exceeds the state limit of .08.


Alcohol is the leading contributing factor in boating fatalities.

Is that sobering enough?



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