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Friday, June 5, 2015

Missouri State Highway Patrol Joins Operation Dry Water

Colonel J. Bret Johnson, superintendent of the Missouri State Highway Patrol, announces the Patrol's participation in Operation Dry Water. Operation Dry Water is a national campaign in which marine law enforcement officers from across the country coordinate special patrols during the last weekend in June to keep our waterways safe from boaters operating under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Troopers will focus their efforts over the weekend of June 26-28, 2015, to detect and apprehend intoxicated operators. 

Missouri boat operators found to have a blood alcohol content of .08% or greater will be arrested for boating while intoxicated. Intoxicated boat operators endanger themselves, their passengers, and other boaters utilizing our many waterways. 

Last year, 585 local, state, and federal agencies participated in a weekend long event of heightened BWI enforcement known as Operation Dry Water. Officers removed 318 intoxicated boat operators from the water. In addition, law enforcement officers made contact with over 146,000 boaters concerning BWI or boating safety enforcement and awareness. From 2009 to 2014, over 1,800 BWI operators have been removed from the water by law enforcement officers during the Operation Dry Water weekends. 

In 2014, Missouri troopers arrested a total of eight people for boating while intoxicated, contacted 431 vessels and 1,390 boaters, and issued 72 boating violation summonses and 390 warnings on Missouri waterways. Marine operations troopers also issued 29 summonses for non-boating violations during the 2014 Operation Dry Water weekend. Special enforcement operations will continue throughout the summer months. Boaters are reminded that designating a sober skipper is always the safest bet if alcohol is going to be included in their boating experience.