Officials on the lookout for impaired boaters during holiday weekend
A long summer weekend with good weather in the forecast means Oregonians will be flocking to the state’s rivers and lakes. Marine law enforcement officers say they’re planning extra patrols over the holiday to watch for impaired boat operators.
It’s part of a nationwide enforcement blitz called “Operation Dry Water.” Safety officials say alcohol is a leading factor in fatal boating accidents. Drugs, including prescription drugs, can also contribute to impairment.
Ashley Massey: “Because the waterways are more congested, especially during exciting, fun, long weekends, it’s even more important to have your wits about you and use good judgment and make sound choices,” said Ashley Massey of the Oregon State Marine Board.
Boating while impaired is a crime that can lead to jail time, fines and a suspension of boating privileges.
"It's super-important to just leave the alcohol and substances on shore," said Massey. "It's hard enough to operate in our waters when you are completely sober, because a lot of skill is necessary, especially on area rivers."