Operation Dry Water to Begin this Weekend

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 A reminder, especially with the holiday weekend approaching, don’t drink and drive.

Sounds simple enough but keep in mind, this also applies to waterways. A Martins Ferry man found that out the hard way .

When police arrived at Pike Island Locks and Dam, they say Gerald Walton Jr., 43, was threatening the staff and being disorderly. The police report said he was heavily intoxicated and was arrested on scene.

He’s charged with DUI while boating, failure to obey an officer and obstructing an officer.

Police want to remind you don’t drink and drive while you’re boating. With everyone out celebrating on the river around the fourth it’s one of the highest weekends for DUI on the waterways.

Operation Dry Water is a national awareness and enforcement campaign focused on reducing the number of alcohol and drug related accidents on the water.

Officials patrol the waters looking for drivers who are intoxicated because last year, 77-percent of boating deaths were alcohol related. Officials said this is because intoxication can lead to slips, falling overboard, and much worse.

U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary member Steven Miro says Operation Dry Water is very important because the holiday weekend around July 4th is notorious for boaters drinking and driving.

Miro said officials just want people to stay safe, “If you wouldn’t drink and drive, don’t do it on a boat. It’s just that simple. If you’re going to be out on a boat, wear your life jacket, take a boating course, and when you’re out on a boat, have a designated skipper.”

Potential consequences for intoxication on the water include getting arrested, having your boat impounded or even losing your boating license.
Of course, boaters are allowed to drink, but drivers can’t.

Operation Dry Water kicks off Friday and will run until Sunday, July 2nd.

Officials said the most important thing to remember is to always wear your life jacket because 83% of people who drown aren’t wearing one.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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