SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. — West Virginia Natural Resources Police Officers (NRPOs) will be patrolling the state’s rivers and lakes during Operation Dry Water weekend, from July 5 to July 7, 2019, as part of a national campaign to reduce the number of accidents and fatalities related to boating under the influence (BUI).
The goal of Operation Dry Water is to raise awareness about the dangers of boating under the influence and to reduce the number of accidents and deaths attributed to impaired boating. Officers will be out in force looking for boaters whose blood alcohol concentration meets or exceeds 0.08, the legal limit in West Virginia.
In 2018, 574 local, state, and federal agencies participated in Operation Dry Water. Over the three-day heightened awareness and enforcement weekend, law enforcement officers contacted 201,888 boaters, made 494 BUI arrests, and issued 26,565 citations and warnings for safety violations.
In West Virginia, NRPOs arrested five BUI operators and issued 98 citations and warnings for safety violations.
Since the inception of the Operation Dry Water campaign in 2009, law enforcement officers have removed 3,532 BUI operators from the nation’s waterways and contacted more than1.3 million boaters during the annual three-day weekend.
The nationwide awareness and enforcement campaign, Operation Dry Water, is a partnership of the West Virginia Natural Resources Police, the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators and the U.S. Coast Guard.
The use of alcohol can impair a boater’s judgement, balance, vision and reaction time. Alcohol use is the leading contributing factor in recreational boating deaths in the United States. It is illegal in every state and territory to operate a boat while under the influence of alcohol.
Boating under the influence also applies to drugs. Even some prescription medications can make operating a recreational vessel unsafe. Visit operationdrywater.org or wvdnr.gov for more information about boating under the influence.
Media outlets who wish to speak to a Natural Resources Police Officer about Operation Dry Water may contact the following Lieutenants to coordinate interviews.
District 1 – Farmington
Contact: Lieutenant Brad McDougal
District 2 – Romney
Contact: Lieutenant Robert Clark Jr.
District 3 – French Creek
Contact: Lieutenant David James
District 4 – Beckley
Contact: Lieutenant Dennis Feazell
District 5 – Nitro
Contact: Lieutenant Jerry Payne
District 6 – Parkersburg
Contact: Lieutenant Michael S. Coberly