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Marine officers seek drunken boaters

Friday, July 6, 2018

Law enforcement agencies from 32 counties had planned an operation the weekend before the July 4 holiday to combat drunken boating.

The Marine Board and Oregon State Police also will participate in “Operation Dry Water.”

It’s part of a nationally coordinated effort to reduce the number of accidents and fatalities related to boating under the influence of intoxicants.  

“To help marine officers prepare, we train them to recognize drug and alcohol impairment and arrest those operators – including those with paddles,” says Randy Henry, boating safety manager for the Marine Board. 

Boating under the influence means prescription drugs, alcohol, inhalants, marijuana or any other substance that impairs a person’s ability to make sound judgments and safely operate a boat.

The effects of drugs and alcohol are amplified on the water with the combination of sun glare, wind, waves and other environmental stressors. Alcohol also dehydrates the body, putting people at risk of drowning should they suddenly be immersed in cold water.   In Oregon, the consequences of being convicted of BUII include jail time, $6,250 in fines and loss of boating privileges.

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