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ODNR keeps Ohio's waters safer with Sober Boater effort

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) recently participated in Operation Dry Water, a nationwide crackdown to remove impaired boaters from public waterways June 28-30.

ODNR Division of Watercraft officers contacted boaters on 456 vessels and made 10 arrests for boating under the influence (BUI). As with motor vehicle operators, boat operators in Ohio are considered legally intoxicated if their blood alcohol limit reaches 0.08 percent.

Watercraft officers also issued 121 citations and 423 boating safety warnings, as well as nine drug-related violations. There were no boating-related fatalities in Ohio during the 2013 Operation Dry Water weekend.

In 2012, ODNR Division of Watercraft officers made 11 arrests for boating while intoxicated during the weekend-long effort. A total of 96 citations and 828 boating safety warnings were issued.

Alcohol is involved in about one of every three fatal boating-related accidents on Ohio waterways. While state watercraft officers and local marine patrols are always on the lookout for impaired boat operators, Operation Dry Water (www.operationdrywater.org) is an organized national effort that focuses greater awareness of the need for boaters to boat smart, boat sober and make a commitment to staying safe on the water.

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