ANNAPOLIS (June 23, 2010) From Friday, June 24, through Sunday, June 26, the Maryland Natural Resources Police (NRP) will participate in Operation Dry Water, a nationally-coordinated program to raise awareness about the dangerous use of alcohol in a boating environment. During this weekend, detection and enforcement of boating under the influence will be a nation-wide priority.
Our main focus with Operation Dry Water is to prevent accidents and fatalities while making our waterways safer and more enjoyable for all boaters, said NRP Colonel George F. Johnson IV.
Operation Dry Water is organized by the National Association of State Boating Law Enforcement Administrators. The NRP, the United States Coast Guard and local law enforcement agencies will utilize increased personnel to patrol during the weekend. Officers will be targeting high-accident areas and areas where boating and alcohol have been a problem in the past, but patrols will take place in every part of the state.
2009 statistics showed alcohol use was a contributing factor in 16 percent of boating fatalities nationwide. In Maryland during 2010, alcohol and illegal drug use were a contributing factor in 8 percent of the 219 reportable boating accidents. Also, NRP placed 169 alcohol-related charges against boaters in 2010. The maximum penalty for operating a vessel while impaired by alcohol is a $1000 fine and a year in jail for the first offense.
Source: Maryland Department of Natural Resources