On Monday, July 23, the Georgia Department of Natural Resources Law Enforcement Division released the boating enforcement statistics for Operation Dry Water and for the July 4th holiday reporting period.
Operation Dry Water, a nationwide initiative of heightened enforcement targeting boating under the influence, took place June 29 – July 1. The mission of Operation Dry Water is to reduce the number of alcohol and drug-related incidents and fatalities through increased recreational boater awareness and by fostering a stronger and more visible deterrent to alcohol use on the water.
During the weekend, 145 Georgia Game Wardens patrolled 51 different waterways and contacted over 3,500 boaters. They issued 142 boating citations and 235 warnings, and removed 10 drunk boaters from the state’s waterways.
From July 3 – 5, Game Wardens across the state were patrolling Georgia’s waterways for the Independence Day holiday. The numbers were better this year than last year, likely due to the 4th falling on a Wednesday and the heavy afternoon thunderstorms in various parts of the state. This year the officers reported no drownings, 11 BUI arrests, eight boating incidents with four injuries and no boating fatalities. The July 4th holiday weekend in 2017 yielded one drowning, 34 BUI arrests, nine boating incidents (one involving alcohol) with five injuries, and no boating fatalities.
As the Summer boating season continues, the Division is committed to educating boaters about safe boating practices, which includes boating sober, and enforcing the state’s boating under the influence laws.
Alcohol is the leading contributing factor in recreational boating deaths, and a major contributor to accidents. Boaters are encouraged to enjoy the boating season by boating sober, wearing a life jacket, and taking a boating education course.