Operating a boat while under the influence of alcohol and drugs is not only unsafe—it's illegal. Washington state's boating-under-the-influence (BUI) law applies to all boats include kayaks, canoes, row boats and inflatable fishing rafts.
If you own, rent or operate a borrowed boat, you are responsible for the safety and well-being of everyone on board. Never operate a boat under the influence or allow an intoxicated person to operate the boat. Be sure to check any prescription and non-prescription drugs for side effects that could impede your ability to be alert!
Do everyone a favor, always designate a sober skipper. Take the pledge today!
Keep everyone safe
Boating under the influence is arguably more dangerous than driving while impaired. Wind, sun, noise, motion and vibration can amplify the effects. Boats don’t have the same safety features as cars, such as airbags and seat belts. When someone is involved in a car accident, they are not normally faced with the threat of drowning. Finally, the emergency response may not be nearly as quick on the water as on land. To be as safe as possible, passengers are encouraged to stay sober too.
Source: 2016 Recreational Boating Statistics, published by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Coast Guard and Office of Auxiliary and Boating Safety.
Alcohol and drugs are one of the top contributing factors in fatal boating accidents.
Source: Washington State Parks Boating Program Recreational Boating Accident Report data.
Need more information?
Operation Dry Water is a year-long national awareness and enforcement campaign focused on reducing the number of alcohol and drug related boating accidents and fatalities. As part of the campaign, emphasis patrols are conducted annually near the Fourth of July holiday. A holiday known for increased recreational boating, prevalent alcohol use and subsequent boating accidents and fatalities. The National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA), in partnership with the U.S. Coast Guard as well as local, state and federal law enforcement agencies and safety advocates, coordinates Operation Dry Water.
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