Operation Dry Water Focuses on Impaired Boat Operation in Oregon

Posted on June 28, 2023

Oregon Marine Board – 06/27/23 3:00 PM

Marine law enforcement officers across the state will be joining the Oregon State Marine Board and the United States Coast Guard to increase enforcement of Oregon’s Boating Under the Influence of Intoxicants (BUII) laws from July 1-3.

“Our message is simple. Don’t boat impaired,” says Brian Paulsen, Boating Safety Program Manager with the Oregon State Marine Board. “Drug and alcohol-impaired operators on the water put everyone at risk, endangering the lives of innocent people and themselves.”

Marine officers will specifically be looking for impaired boat operators over the holiday weekend as part of the national Operation Dry Water Campaign. Laws for BUII apply to all motorized and non-motorized boat operators, including paddlers.

Impaired boaters can expect to be arrested or face serious penalties. In Oregon, the consequences of being convicted of BUII include the possibility of jail time, $6,250 in fines, loss of boating privileges and a one-to-three-year suspension of the boater education card and potentially being court-mandated to take another boating safety course. Marine officers can arrest boaters on observed impairment and can legally obtain blood, breath, or urine if a boater fails standardized field sobriety testing.

“Overall, recreational boating is a safe activity when boaters wear life jackets, boat sober, and recreate responsibly,” says Paulsen. “If you see an impaired operator or someone who is operating in a way that threatens others’ safety, call 911 and report it.

For more information about Operation Dry Water, visit www.operationdrywater.org.

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