Law enforcement cracking down on boating under the influence with Operation Drywaters

Local News

EUFAULA, Ala. (WDHN) — On Wednesday, Alabama and Georgia state marines discussed what they’re calling “Operation Drywaters”.

It’s a program meant to spotlight the dangers of boating under the influence of alcohol.

Nationally B-U-I is one of the leading contributors to deaths on the water.

Another factor is the combination of alcohol and no life jackets.

“No life jacket mixed with alcohol usually leads to fatalities,” Alabama Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division chief of enforcement Michael Weathers said. “So, it’s a national campaign aimed at associating alcohol use and the dangers of the water. Which most people don’t put together.”

With July 4th coming up, troopers will be patrolling both sides of Lake Eufaula to keep the waters safe and to stop people from boating under the influence. Authorities will be on the lookout for several indicators of B-U-I.

“Erratic operation of the vessel, excessive speed, careless operation,” Alabama Law Enforcement Agency Marine Patrol Division Chief Steve Thompson said. “Things a sober person probably wouldn’t do.”

Operation Drywaters has been around for nearly a decade.

Along with checking for sobriety, troopers will be enforcing boat requirements and making sure people are following social distancing guidelines.

Troopers say today’s meeting marked boaters’ first and final warning.

“You will not get a warning on the water,” Georgia Law Enforcement Division Director Thomas Barnard said. “My words today are the only warning that you will get. Make the smart decision and boat sober.”

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