‘Operation Dry Water’ hits New Jersey waterways today

New Jersey State Police will be patrolling New Jersey’s waterways this weekend in order to make sure boaters are safe.

Operation Dry Water, the National Boating Under the Influence Awareness and Enforcement Campaign starts today and runs through July, 2.

The campaign is a national awareness and enforcement campaign focused on reducing the number of alcohol – and drug- related accidents and fatalities and fostering a stronger, more visible deterrent to alcohol and drug use on the water.

In 2016, 538 local, state, and federal agencies participated in Operation Dry Water. Over the three-day heightened awareness and enforcement weekend law enforcement officers contacted 131,054 boaters, made 367 BUI arrests,and issued 18,659 citations and warnings for safety violations.

Alcohol use is the leading known contributing factor in fatal boating accidents; where the primary cause was known, it was listed as the leading factor in 15% of deaths according to U.S. Coast Guard Recreational Boating Statistics 2016.

The consequences of a New Jersey BUI conviction depend on the circumstances of the case. But generally, the possible penalties are:

  • First-offense BUI for alcohol impairment or .08% BAC. A first-offense BUI involving alcohol impairment or a BAC of .08% or greater but less than .1% carries $250 to $400 in fines, a one-year boating privilege suspension, and a three-month driver’s license suspension.
  • First-offense BUI for drug impairment of .1% BAC. A first-offense BUI involving drug impairment or a BAC of .1% or greater carries $300 to $500 in fines, a one-year boating privilege suspension, and driver’s license suspension of seven months to one year.
  • Second-offense BUI. A second-offense BUI carries $500 to $1,000 in fines, 30 days of community service, 48 hours to 90 days in jail, and two-year suspensions of boating and driving privileges.
  • Third or subsequent BUI. A third or subsequent BUI carries $1,000 in fines, at least 180 days in jail (the court can convert up to 90 days to community service), and ten-year suspensions of boating and driving privileges.

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By: Jay Edwards
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(Photo Source: NJSP)