Officers Look For Impaired Boaters During Holiday

HARRISBURG PA – If there are boats in your plans during the Independence holiday weekend – maybe for fishing on Green Lane Reservoir, paddling down the Schuylkill River or Perkiomen Creek, or launching from the North Coventry boat ramp – be sure you’re sober on the water, state conservation officers warned this week.

Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission waterways officers will be on the lookout Friday through Sunday (July 3-5, 2020) for boaters under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or other substances. They’ll participate in a nationally organized effort called “Operation Dry Water” to crack down on violators. And they’re specially trained, the commission said, “to detect signs of impaired boating and conduct sobriety tests on the water.”

The legal limit for operating a motor vehicle or any watercraft, powered or unpowered, is .08 percent blood alcohol concentration. Boaters must wear a life jacket, have a float plan, avoid summer storms that can cause treacherous fast and high-water conditions, designate a sober boater, and consider having no alcohol while aboard a boat.

“The water is a great place to spend the holiday weekend, and every boating adventure should include some basic safety steps,” commission Executive Director Tim Schaeffer said. “Year after year, statistics prove that we could prevent the majority of fatal boating accidents if every boater would wear a life jacket and stay sober.”

Photo by Kristel Hayes via Unsplash, used under license