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Operation Dry Water yields many arrests

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July 16, 2014 | 2,052 views | Post a comment

AUSTIN -- Texas Parks and Wildlife Department game wardens made 58 boating under the influence arrests and contacted some 30,000 recreational boaters over the July 4th weekend.

Earlier, TPWD’s Law Enforcement division participated in Operation Dry Water June 27-29, as part of a nationally coordinated boating under the influence (BUI) awareness and enforcement campaign. Game wardens continued their enhanced patrol efforts through the holiday as boaters enjoyed area waterways.

Over the three-day Operation Dry Water weekend, game wardens made contact with 22,732 recreational boaters, issued 1,147 citations and safety warnings, and made 17 BUI arrests. During the holiday weekend, game wardens raised the contact number to more than 52,000, and brought the arrest tally to 75 operators for boating under the influence. In addition, game wardens filed 39 minor in possession of alcohol cases and eight drug-related offenses.

“TPWD participates in coordinated efforts like Operation Dry Water in an effort to reduce the number of accidents and fatalities we see due to boaters consuming alcohol on the water,” said Assistant Commander Cody Jones, TPWD’s boating law administrator. “Our goal is to educate boaters as well as remove impaired operators from the water in order to keep all other boaters safe.”

Nationally, more than 550 local, state, and federal law-enforcement agencies from all 50 states and six U.S. territories participated in the 2014 Operation Dry Water effort. National results are still being collected and compiled.

Alcohol use is the leading contributing factor in recreational boater deaths. Since 2009, the year Operation Dry Water launched, there has been a 37 percent drop in the number of boater deaths where alcohol use was the known contributing factor, according to the 2013 U.S. Coast Guard Recreational Boating Statistics.

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