Operation Dry Water aims to curb Indiana's drunken boaters

Initiative set for June 28-30

INDIANAPOLIS - Indiana conservation officers will be taking part in a national campaign aimed raising awareness of the dangers of boating under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

They will be taking part in Operation Dry Water, scheduled for June 28-30, which is the weekend before July Fourth.

The program is part of a nationwide education and enforcement initiative developed by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators in partnership with the Coast Guard.

The state Department of Natural Resources boating while intoxicated accounts for a disproportionate number of on-the-water deaths. In 2011, alcohol was a contributing factor in 8 percent of boating accidents overall but involved in 17 percent of boating deaths.

The blood-alcohol limit for boat operators in Indiana is the same as for vehicle drivers, 0.08.

"Keeping our lakes, rivers and reservoirs safe takes an effort from all of us, and we appreciate the efforts of our safe boaters," DNR Lt. Kenton Turner said.

Officials said that since the program launched in 2009, the percentage of boating fatalities in the U.S. with alcohol listed as a contributing factor fell from 19 percent to 17 percent.

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