Chattanooga, TN – According to the state officials, TWRA is actively participating in Operation Dry Water, a nationwide campaign focused on preventing boating under the influence. This initiative, which runs year-round, ramps up its enforcement and awareness efforts annually around the July 4th holiday.

With the holiday bringing a significant increase in boating activity, TWRA officers will be on heightened alert for BUI infractions. Throughout the July 4th period, law enforcement officers will work to raise public awareness about the dangers of operating a boat under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Both operators and passengers are reminded of the serious risks involved. Boaters can expect to see an increased presence of officers patrolling the waterways to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for all.

Alcohol use is the leading contributing factor in recreational boater deaths. Sun, wind, noise, vibration, and motion intensify the effects of alcohol, drugs, and some medications. Operating a boat with a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of .08 percent or higher is illegal in Tennessee, the same as operating a motor vehicle. Penalties for BUI may include fines, jail time, boat impoundment, and the loss of boating privileges.

To bolster this enforcement and education effort, the TWRA is collaborating with the U.S. Coast Guard, the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA), and Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD). Operation Dry Water, initiated by NASBLA in 2009, has been a highly effective campaign, successfully drawing public attention to the hazards of BUI.

The combined efforts of these agencies aim to remove impaired operators from the state’s waterways, thus enhancing safety for everyone. As part of this initiative, boaters are encouraged to be mindful of their actions and to prioritize safety on the water this holiday season.