Officers that patrol our local waters are heightening their enforcement this weekend. It’s called Operation Dry Water.
Officers across the United States are promoting safe and responsible boating.
According to officers, alcohol use is the leading factor in recreational boating deaths in the U.S.
Police said reckless boating is the main indication a driver may be under the influence.
According to authorities, this is not only dangerous for the driver, but for everyone else in the water.
“If you fall of your board and somebody is coming down through, that had been drinking, and their going way too fast. This boat doesn’t have time to circle back around to you, then you have a big chance of being hit,” said boater Austin Compton.
In Virginia, boaters whose blood alcohol level exceeds .08, can be arrested for boating under the influence.
Officers said that environmental factors can intensify the effect of alcohol on a person while boating.
“We have what we call boating stressors,” said Virginia Conservation Police Officer Morgan O’ Quinn. “You have the glare of the sun, you have the heat, the rocking of the boat, or the vessel, that you’re on. Those do tend to make the effects a little greater.”
According to O’Quinn, since water levels at Boone Lake have been lower, the number of boaters on South Holston Lake has increased by more than 30%.
Copyright 2015 WJHL. All rights reserved.