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Clarksville Police Department reminds boaters – Don’t let boating under the influence sink a good time

Nationwide crackdown on boating under the influence during Operation Dry Water

Clarksville Police Department - CPDClarksville, TN – As the July 4th holiday approaches, law enforcement will be focusing on keeping boaters safe by cracking down on boating under the influence. The Clarksville Police Department will be conducting heightened awareness and enforcement of boating under the influence laws as part of the national Operation Dry Water campaign.

In partnership with the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA), the Clarksville Police Department is working to increase boater awareness of the hazards associated with boating under the influence, and decrease the number of accidents and deaths attributed to impaired boating and other unsafe boating practices.

Clarksville Police Department to take part in Operation Dry Water, June 30th through July 2nd.
Clarksville Police Department to take part in Operation Dry Water, June 30th through July 2nd.

From June 30th – July 2nd, law enforcement nationwide will be looking for impaired boaters as part of Operation Dry Water weekend. Boaters will notice an increase in the numbers of officers on the water and at recreational boating checkpoints. This effort will result in the removal of impaired operators, providing a safe and enjoyable experience for boaters this boating season.

“As a part of the community ourselves, we want to ensure that recreational boaters, paddlers, and anyone enjoying our waters have a safe place to spend their time on the water, ” says CPD Lieutenant Phil Ashby.  “Alcohol impairs judgment and reaction time on the water just as is does when driving a car, even more so because of the added stressors of sun, heat, wind, and noise on a boat. Choosing to consume alcohol while boating puts everyone at risk, including passengers and people in the water. Our goal is to remove anyone choosing to operate a vessel impaired and to keep everyone else safe.”

Tips to staying safe on the water this summer:

  • Boat sober. Alcohol use is the leading contributing factor in recreational boater deaths*. Alcohol and drugs use impairs a boater’s judgment, balance, vision and reaction time.
  • Wear your life jacket. 85% of drowning victims were not wearing a life jacket*.
  • Take a boating safety education course. 71% of deaths occurred on boats where the operator did not receive boating safety instruction, where instruction was known*.

Operating a vessel under the influence of alcohol or drugs is illegal on all bodies of water and can lead to serious injuries and consequences. In Tennessee it is illegal to operate a vessel with a BAC level of .08 or higher – the same as it is to operate a vehicle. If you are found to be impaired and operating a boat you will be arrested.

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

*2015 U.S. Coast Guard Recreational Boating Statistics.

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