Even during the COVID-19 pandemic, Tampa Bay law enforcement agencies to monitor our local waterways for impaired boaters.
Boating Under the Influence applies to drugs, as well as alcohol.
Operation Dry Water (ODW) is a year-round boating under the influence (BUI) awareness and enforcement campaign. The stated goal of Operation Dry Water is to reduce the number of BUI related accidents and fatalities on the water. Operation Dry Water was started in 2009 by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) along with the United States Coast Guard (USCG).
Starting on July 3, 2020 and running through July 5, 2020, Operation Dry Water will be running a Heightened Awareness & Enforcement Weekend. The Heightened Awareness & Enforcement Weekend is put in place to deter boaters from boating under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Operation Dry Water coordinates with local law enforcement agencies to provide enhanced patrols targeting BUI.
Operation Dry Water states that alcohol is the leading contributing factor in fatal boating accidents, and that alcohol use can impair a boater’s judgment, balance, vision and reaction time. Additional factors such as sun, wind, engine noise, vibration and the motion of the seas may intensify the effects of alcohol, drugs, and some medications on boaters.
A person is guilty of BUI in the State of Florida if they have a blood or breath alcohol level of .08 or more. A first time BUI conviction may include up to a $500 fine, up to six (6) months in jail, probation, community service hours, substance abuse evaluation and treatment, and a ten (10) day impound of your vessel.
The July 3, 2020 to July 5, 2020 Heightened Awareness & Enforcement Weekend includes the following participating agencies:
- Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
- Hillsborough County Sheriff Office
- Sarasota Police Department
- Treasure Island Police Department
- USCG Station Sand Key
- USCG Station St. Petersburg
If you have been arrested for Boating Under the Influence (BUI) you should immediately consult with an attorney who can assess the facts and circumstances of your arrest and formulate a plan for your best defense. Contact the Morris Law Firm at (727) 388-4736 for a strategic review of your BUI case. The Morris Law Firm represents clients throughout the Tampa Bay Area, including Pinellas, Hillsborough, Sarasota, Pasco, and Manatee counties.