DEEP reminds boaters of risks of boating under the influence

June 29, 2018 GMT

HARTFORD — The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection is reminding people of the dangers of boating while intoxicated.

The department, along with law enforcement agencies across the state, is working to inform boaters about safe boating practices as part of the Operation Dry Water campaign, according to a statement from DEEP. The campaign focuses on the importance of boating while sober and the enforcement of boating under the influence laws.

The department’s Environmental Conservation Police wants to remind boaters that boating under the influence of drugs or alcohol is illegal, according to the statement. Operating a vehicle or boat with a BAC level of 0.08 or higher is illegal.

“The accidents and tragedies that happen because individuals chose to drive drunk or impaired, on land or on the water, are preventable,” said Mike Lambert, DEEP Bureau Chief for Outdoor Recreation. “The decision lies with the individual on whether they chose to operate a boat or vehicle while under the influence.”

Boating while under the influence of alcohol is the leading contributing factor in recreational boating deaths, and a key factor of accidents, according to 2017 statistics from the U.S. Coast Guard.