HI: Operation Dry Water to educate boaters about effects of alcohol
By Mike Cherry
June 25, 2015
HONOLULU —This weekend, the Coast Guard will be on patrol out on the water statewide as part of Operation Dry Water.
“The Coast Guard’s primary role with Operation Dry Water is to educate boaters and keep them safe,” said Noah Perry of the U.S. Coast Guard. “What will happen is if we find people who are boating under the influence, we will, along with state agencies, take the appropriate measures.”
The laws of the waterway don’t differ much from those on the road. The legal blood alcohol content level is 0.8 percent. Anyone under the age of 21 is not allowed to drink.
The Coast Guard says that operating a boat while under the influence of alcohol increases the likelihood of an accident by 34 percent. In 2014, alcohol was the main contributor in 21 percent of all boating fatalities.
“I think it’s something that folks don’t recognize is that when they get on that boat with all those people. They’re in charge of those people’s lives and the other people that are out on the water with them,” said Leah Zieber of the U.S. Coast Guard.
And it’s a different ballgame out on the water if you’ve been drinking. There are more things to factor in.
“Things like the sun, wind, noise, motion sickness all enhance the effects of alcohol, drugs and medication,” said Perry.
The Coast Guard will begin deploying crews on Friday and should you see any sort of rowdy behavior, don’t be afraid to pick up a phone.
You can call the District 14 Command Center at 1-800-331-6176.