State Environmental Conservation Police, the US Coast Guard, and other state and local law enforcement are on the water this weekend working to curb boating under the influence.
“Operation Dry Water” isn’t just a reminder for people at the helm of a power boat or sail boat, the same boating under the influence law applies for folks operating kayaks, canoes and standup paddle boards, too.
Celebrating America’s Birthday on the water this weekend doesn’t mean you’re free of responsibility.
“They think oh you know we’ll just go out on a boat if we get stopped, we get stopped no big deal, but the penalty is the same and the BAC level is the same,” explained Capt. Keith Williams of state Environmental Conservation Police.
Something they say is as serious on land as at sea.
“If you look at the boat in front of you, it’s a 27 foot boat. It weighs a few thousand pounds really no different than a motor vehicle. It has just as much horsepower behind it as a typical vehicle does, you can’t brake a boat as easy and quickly as you can a vehicle,” Williams said.
Throughout the weekend, there will be extra patrols along the Connecticut River, Long Island Sound, and other bodies of water in our state.
“Some people if they are intoxicated forget how to put their navigation lights on, stuff like that, so those are cues that we look for. Wake zone violations are other cues that we look for, especially in this area of the Connecticut River,” Williams explained.
Authorities also remind boaters to follow basic safety measures. Children under 13 must wear a life jacket at all times while on a moving vessel in Connecticut.