KDWPT law enforcement to participate in Operation Dry Water

Heightened enforcement of BUI laws will take place June 27-29

PRATT-The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism will be participating in Operation Dry Water, June 27-29, 2014, as part of a nationally-coordinated effort to reduce the number of accidents and deaths related to boating under the influence.

During this three-day period, KDWPT officers will be on the water, reminding boaters about the dangers of boating under the influence and detecting boaters who are impaired. ODW efforts will include increased patrols, breathalyzer tests, and checkpoints, as well as boater education and outreach.

“There is a big misconception out there that operating a boat while intoxicated is not as dangerous as driving a car. This simply isn’t true,” said KDWPT assistant director of law enforcement Major Dan Hesket. “In fact, studies have found that people become impaired faster when boating as opposed to driving due to additional factors such as heat, dehydration, wind and wave action. “Our goal is to promote awareness of the hazards relating to boat operations while intoxicated and to prevent any accidents, injuries, or deaths due to operating while impaired.

“If you suspect a boater is intoxicated, dial 911, and try to get the registration numbers from the boat, as well as a complete description of the operator and passengers,” Hesket adds. “Under no circumstances should you confront the other boater.”

Boaters whose blood alcohol content level exceeds the state limit of .08 percent can expect to be arrested for BUI and face other serious penalties including fines, jail time and loss of boating or even driving privileges.

According to Hesket, the KDWPT Law Enforcement Division averages approximately 11 special enforcement efforts over the ODW weekend, resulting in 4 to 8 boating under the influence arrests each year.

For more information on Operation Dry Water, visit operationdrywater.org.

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