Members of the Maine Warden Service will be cracking down on impaired boaters this weekend as part of a national initiative to deter boating under the influence of drugs or alcohol and educate the public on the dangers of doing so.
The Warden Service will increase boating patrols around the state from June 22-24, joining with the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) for “Operation Dry Water.”
The Warden Service will hold a 2 p.m. press conference on Wednesday at the Standish boat launch on Sebago Lake to discuss the goals and reasons behind Operation Dry Water.
“Our goal is to make recreational boating a safe and enjoyable sport for everyone,” said Maine Warden Service Lt. Adam Gormely. “If you are boating, you will be checked. If you are drinking, you will be tested. If you are impaired, you will be arrested.”
The Warden Service is taking a proactive stand to combat alcohol use on boats in an effort to keep all boaters in Maine safe.
In Maine, it is illegal to operate a boat with a blood alcohol level of 0.08% or higher.
Alcohol can impair a boater’s judgment, balance, vision and reaction time and boat operators or passengers with a high blood alcohol concentration put themselves at an increased risk of being involved in a fatal boating accident.
All 50 U.S. states and six U.S. territories participated in the three-day initiative last year, leading to 325 BUI arrests, 4,370 citations and 8,763 warnings from contacting 43,777 vessels and 97,648 boaters.
Members are the media who are interested in attending Wednesday’s press conference should RSVP to the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife by calling (207)657-2345 or e-mail Caroline Hailey at [email protected].
Logo courtesy of the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife