Operation Dry Water, a national campaign aimed at educating recreational boaters about the hazards of boating under the influence of alcohol or drugs, will return to Indiana in 2024.

Why Is Operation Dry Water Important?

The mission of this annual campaign is to reduce the occurrence of alcohol-related boating accidents and fatalities through increased outreach, education, and enforcement.

Alcohol Is the Leading Contributor to Boater Deaths

Alcohol use remains the leading known contributing factor in recreational boater deaths and accidents. Lieutenant Kenton Turner, the Indiana Boating Law Administrator, emphasizes the importance of educating boaters about the risks of impaired boating and promoting safe boating practices, such as enrolling in boater education courses and always wearing life jackets.

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Indiana Conservation Officers on Watch

To ensure a safe and enjoyable summer on the water, Indiana Conservation Officers will be actively identifying and removing dangerous and impaired boat operators during the Operation Dry Water weekend. In 2022 alone, law enforcement officers nationwide removed 794 impaired operators from waterways during this initiative.

Risk of Injury for Passengers Too

It's not just boat operators who should avoid alcohol use; passengers are also at risk. Lieutenant Turner highlights that the risk of serious injury remains the same for both operators and passengers when alcohol is involved. Even the use of legal or illegal drugs can impair judgment and reaction time, creating hazardous circumstances while on the water.

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Prioritize Safety: Boat Sober

Conservation Officers urge all boaters to prioritize safety by choosing to boat sober throughout the year. Remember that impaired judgment and delayed reactions can lead to dangerous situations. By staying informed and making responsible choices, we can all contribute to a safer boating season.

Learn More About Operation Dry Water

Operation Dry Water will take place the weekend of July 4 - 6, 2024. For more information about boating under the influence and Operation Dry Water, visit operationdrywater.org or on the Indiana DNR website. Stay informed, stay sober, and help keep our waterways safe for everyone's enjoyment.

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Gallery Credit: Dave Spencer