Despite a decline in boating under the influence fatalities, deputies from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department will conduct Operation Dry Water this Friday through Sunday.
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Deputies from the Parks Bureau will increase their presence with traffic stops and BUI sobriety checkpoints at both Castaic Lake and Pyramid Lake.
This is a nationally coordinated weekend of BUI detection and enforcement aimed at reducing the number of alcohol and drug related accidents and fatalities.
“Operation Dry Water has proven to be a successful campaign. I encourage every local, state and federal agency tasked with boating law enforcement to participate in this worthwhile BUI enforcement and awareness effort,” said Toby Velasquez, National Association of State Boating Law Administrators president.
NASBLA in partnership with the United States Coast Guard launched the campaign in 2009. The goal is to foster a stronger and more visible deterrent to alcohol and drug use on the water in an effort to educate boaters about boating under the influence.
“From the name you can tell that we’re trying to keep the water dry basically from alcohol, and the reason why we’re doing this prior to the weekend of Fourth of July is because it’s the deadliest holiday on the water in our nation,” said Jennifer Matta, a public relations manager for Operation Dry Water.
Since its launch, the percentage of boating fatalities with alcohol listed as a contributing factor has decreased from 19 percent to 17 percent in the United States.
Despite the decrease, BUI still accounts for a disproportional number of on-the-water deaths. In 2011, alcohol was a contributing factor in just eight percent of boating accidents overall, but figured in 17 percent of boating fatalities.
From 2009 to 2012 over 1,200 BUI operators have been removed from the water and over 313,500 boaters have been contacted by a law enforcement officer during the Operation Dry Water weekends.
Officers from every U.S. state, trust and territory are expected to participate in Operation Dry Water this year by educating the public and providing heightened BUI enforcement for the safety of those operating a vessel as well as other boaters on the water.
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Source: Santa Clarita News