The South Lake Tahoe Police Department Marine Units will be actively involved in California law enforcement officers Operation Dry Water over this weekend, June 27th through 29th.
Operation Dry Water is an annual nationwide effort to highlight the risks and dangers of operating boats under the influence. The stepped up enforcement raises awareness of operating boats under the influence of alcohol or drugs in advance of the Fourth of July holiday. Falling on a Friday, this year’s Independence Day will kick off a three-day weekend for thousands of California boaters seeking quality time with friends and family.
Alcohol can impair a boater’s judgment, balance, vision and reaction time. It can increase fatigue and susceptibility to the effect of cold-water immersion. Sun, wind, noise, vibration and motion – “stressors” common to the boating environment – intensify the side effects of alcohol, drugs and some prescription medications.
In California, it is against the law to operate a boat or water ski with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or more. A person with a BAC less than 0.08 percent may also be arrested if conditions are deemed to be unsafe. If convicted, a person may be sentenced to jail for up to six months and assessed fines of up to $1,000. Two convictions within seven years could add a jail term of up to one year. Boaters caught operating under the influence may also find their voyage terminated and their vessel impounded.