Sheriff’s office to crack down on boaters under the influence

Jun 26, 2014

The Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office will participate in Operation Dry Water this weekend, June 27-29, as part of a nationally coordinated effort to reduce the number of accidents and deaths related to boating under the influence (BUI).

During this three-day weekend, Marine Services Unit officers will be on the water reminding boaters about the dangers of boating under the influence and detecting boaters who are impaired.

Boating under the influence continues to be major problem nationwide and is the leading factor in boater deaths, said Shari Ireton, spokesperson for the sheriff's office.

By participating in Operation Dry Water, the Sheriff’s office is working to keep recreational boaters safe and reduce the number of accidents and deaths related to alcohol or drug use on the water.

"Our agency encourages boaters to enjoy the boating season with friends and family, and we also encourage you do it in a safe and responsible way,” said Lt. Rodney Rochon, marine unit commander.

“Operating a boat under the influence of alcohol or drugs can have serious, even deadly, consequences, and our goal is to make sure everyone is enjoying their time on the water and staying safe.”

In Washington, boaters whose blood alcohol content (BAC) level exceeds the state limit of .08 can expect to be arrested for BUI and face other serious penalties, including having the vessel impounded, payment of fines, jail time and loss of boating privileges.

Operation Dry Water patrols will include increased patrols on the water and roadways leading to and from launch facilities, breathalyzer tests, as well as boater education and outreach, Ireton said.

Operation Dry Water is a joint program of the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office, the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators, the U.S. Coast Guard, Washington State Patrol, Washington State Parks, and the Department of Fish and Wildlife.

For more information on Operation Dry Water, visit

-Edited by Beacon staff

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