RALEIGH, N.C. (Aug. 30, 2011) – The “On the Road, On the Water, Don’t Drink and Drive” campaign, a multi-agency initiative in North Carolina designed to combine law enforcement resources for highway and waterway safety during the summer months, will conclude with special operations this Labor Day weekend.
Drivers and boat operators can be charged if their blood alcohol concentration meets or exceeds .08 or if they are impaired by alcohol and/or drugs. Law enforcement officers will be out in force throughout the end-of-summer holiday.
The campaign is led by the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, the State Highway Patrol and Alcohol Law Enforcement, joined by local police and sheriff’s departments and supported by Mothers Against Drunk Driving. Wildlife officers are responsible for enforcing the boating laws and regulations on the waters of the state, and may stop any vessel for safety checks or violations.
“Law enforcement and safety advocates ask that drivers be responsible, no matter what they drive,” said Col. Dale Caveny, chief of the Division of Law Enforcement of the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission. “The educational component of this campaign is to try and motivate people to not operate a vessel or vehicle if impaired. Don’t let an accident or arrest spoil your fun.”
Boaters have an additional consideration when consuming alcoholic beverages. Wind and waves, combined with heat, glare, motor noise and vibrations can create a condition known as boater fatigue, which accelerates impairment and affects coordination, judgment and reaction time that can magnify the effects of alcohol in some individuals.
With the Labor Day weekend one of the anticipated busiest times for boating, wildlife officers also advise:
- WEAR A LIFE VEST – North Carolina law requires children younger than 13 to wear an appropriate life vest whenever they are on a recreational vessel that is underway; and, it is recommended for everyone.
- BLUE LIGHT=NO WAKE – All watercraft must slow to a no wake speed when passing within 100 feet of a patrol boat displaying a flashing blue light. In narrow channels, watercraft must slow to a no wake speed within 50 feet.
- MANDATORY BOATING EDUCATION LAW – Anyone younger than 26 operating a vessel powered by a 10 horsepower or greater motor on public waterways must have successfully completed an approved boating safety education course or otherwise be in compliance.
For more information on boating safety, regulations and title and registration, go to the Boating section of our website.
Be a Part of the Team. Be Responsible. (PDF)
On the Road, On the Water