Operation Dry Water Curbs Drunk Boaters

By  | 

LAKE TAHOE, NV - Boating under the influence is the number one factor in recreational boating deaths. If you're going to crack open a bottle on-board this weekend, you may get pulled over. Local law enforcement explains why keeping a drunk boater off the water could mean keeping a driver off the roads.

Local law enforcement is in full force this summer, looking for drivers under the influence. In 2013, 20-40% of boating deaths were alcohol-related. Operation Dry Water is a national push to make sure boaters know that the same rules apply on the water as they do on the road.

"When you're out here on the lake on you're moving around and you have the waves and the sun and you add alcohol to that, it really becomes an impairment issue," said Jim Gunn of the Nevada Department of Wildlife.

The legal limit is still 0.08 and you still face the same penalties of a DUI charge.

"Even though you don't have guard rails on the lake, a lot of people's attention can be diverted especially when alcohol is involved and boat collisions can happen-either two boats collide or you hit a paddle boarder," Gunn added.

If you're on a boat, law enforcement has the right stop you at anytime. They're going to check for three things--a life jacket, a throw-able floating device and a fire extinguisher. Not having one of these things can cost you up to $200.

"If you injure someone or cause a death and there's alcohol on board, you can be charged with a felony," Gunn said.

Law enforcement also want to remind you that you will get fined if you don't wear a life jacket when you're on a paddleboard, kayak or other water vessels.