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Boaters preparing for Independence Day weekend should be aware that Indiana Conservation Officers will be on high alert for violations of boating-under-the-influence laws as part of Operation Dry Water.

Operation Dry Water, a year-round program, will be in heightened effect July 2–4.

Indiana Conservation Officers, in partnership with the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators and the U.S. Coast Guard, will focus on educating boaters about safe boating practices, including keeping alcohol off the boat, for both operators and passengers.

Officers will be on the lookout for impaired boaters. Boaters will notice an overall increase in patrols, both on the water and at recreational boating checkpoints, to remove dangerous and impaired boaters from the waterways.

"Each year we are faced with incidents and tragedies that could have been avoided if it weren’t for the presence of drugs or alcohol,” says Indiana Boating Law Administrator Lt. Kenton Turner. “As a part of the community ourselves, we want to ensure that recreational boaters, paddlers, and anyone else enjoying our waterways have a safe place to spend their time.

“That is why Indiana Conservation Officers are joining hundreds of agencies nationwide to do our part in keeping boaters safe and preventing incidents and fatalities related to boating under the influence.”

Operating a vessel under the influence of drugs or alcohol is illegal on all bodies of water and can lead to serious injuries, death, and legal consequences. In Indiana, it is illegal to operate a vessel with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08% or higher. Indiana Conservation Officers remind boaters to always boat sober and to wear a life jacket when on or around the water.

Visit operationdrywater.org for more information about boating under the influence.

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