RALEIGH, N.C. (June 27, 2017) - Over the next two weekends, the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission and its partners will continue the “On the Road, On the Water, Don’t Drink and Drive” campaign and participate in the “Operation Dry Water” campaign.
From Friday through Sunday, wildlife officers will increase safety enforcement on the waterways, conduct sobriety checkpoints and help spread public awareness for “Operation Dry Water,” a national campaign that promotes sobriety while boating.
Enhanced enforcement initiatives will continue from July 7 – 9 during the “On the Road, On the Water, Don’t Drink and Drive” campaign. The annual multi-agency initiative works to ensure safe travel on the road and enjoyment on the water during summer holidays. In North Carolina, a driver or boat operator with a blood-alcohol concentration that meets or exceeds .08 is subject to arrest.
“Just like in a vehicle, you can be charged with operating a boat under the influence,” said Lt. Sam Craft with the Wildlife Resources Commission. “You could face fines and possible jail time, so be safe and designate a driver.”
Drinking affects the skills necessary to operate a boat, including:
• Peripheral vision and ability to focus
• Judgment and rational decision-making
• Balance and equilibrium
• Coordination and reaction time
The “On the Road, On the Water, Don’t Drink and Drive” campaign is coordinated by the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, State Highway Patrol and Forensic Tests for Alcohol, and is supported by local police and sheriff’s offices, along with participating non-governmental organizations such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving.
The Commission reminds all boaters to put on a life jacket before entering a vessel. Wearing a life jacket is a simple safety precaution that can prevent tragedy from happening in the event of an accident.
Boating at night typically increases during Independence Day weekend, which requires boaters to use caution and to be on high alert due to reduced visibility. Inland lighting rules are in effect and water skiing is prohibited between one hour after sunset and one hour before sunrise. Personal watercraft are prohibited on state waters between sunset and sunrise.
Learn more about enjoying North Carolina’s waterways at www.ncwildlife.org/boating.
Maj. Chris Huebner