FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) — The Indiana Department of Natural Resources says boaters preparing for the Independence Day holiday should be aware that conservation officers will be on high alert this weekend.
The DNR says officers will be on the lookout for those who are boating-under-the-influence as part of national "Operation Dry Water."
Operation Dry Water, a year-round program, will be in heightened effect July 3-5.
Conservation officers say they will focus on educating boaters about safe boating practices, including keeping alcohol off the boat, for both operators and passengers.
Officers will be on the lookout for boaters who are impaired.
Boaters can expect to see an overall increase in patrols, both on the water and at recreational boating checkpoints, to remove dangerous and impaired boaters from the waters.
“Alcohol use can impair a boater’s judgment, balance, vision and reaction time,” said Lt. Kenton Turner, Indiana boating law administrator. “Every year, we see boating accidents and tragedies that could have been avoided had alcohol or drug use not been a factor.”
Operating a boat under the influence of alcohol or drugs is illegal on all bodies of water, and can lead to serious injuries and consequences.
In Indiana, it is illegal to operate a boat or car with a blood alcohol concentration level of .08 or higher.
Indiana Conservation Officers say boaters should always boat sober and to wear a life jacket when on the water.
Game wardens from the @NvDOW & law enforcement agencies across the US will target boaters operating under the influence as part of the Operation Dry Water campaign focused on keeping families safe during the July 3-5 holiday weekend. #ODW20 Continue: https://t.co/80PlzLPdff pic.twitter.com/i2SVaETdQ3
— Operation Dry Water (@OpDryWater) June 29, 2020