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Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office Marine Services Unit prepare for Operation Dry Water


CONTACT: Shari Ireton, Director of Communications, 425-388-3377, Media line:  425-249-6263

Everett, Wash. The Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office Marine Services Unit is preparing for the nationwide Operation Dry Water weekend June 26-28. 

Thousands of local, state and federal marine law enforcement officers will be out this weekend looking for boat operators whose blood alcohol content (BAC) exceeds the state limit of .08.  Impaired boaters may expect penalties that include fines and jail time.  

The mission of ODW is to reduce the number of alcohol related accidents and fatalities through increased law enforcement presence and recreational boater awareness prior to the start of peak boating season on July 4. 

“Our patrols will be on the water and roadways approaching boat ramps to educate as many boaters as possible about the dangers of boating under the influence.  Operators found to be impaired shall be arrested; this is truly a zero tolerance weekend,” said Lt. Rodney Rochon, Commander of the Marine Services Unit.  

Boat operators and passengers with a BAC above the legal limit run a significantly increased risk of being involved in a fatal boating accident. 

“When impaired by alcohol, boating accidents are more probable and more deadly for both passengers and boat operators, many of whom capsize their vessel or simply fall overboard,” said. Rochon.

Since the launch of ODW in 2009, the number of boating fatalities with alcohol listed as a contributing factor has decreased from 19 percent to 16 percent.  Even with this decrease, alcohol continues to be leading known contributing factor in recreational boating deaths in the U.S.

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