'Operation Dry Water' Underway

Posted at 6:04 PM, Jun 30, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-30 19:15:41-04

If you're heading to the water to get a break from the heat, be aware. Extra boating officers are on the water right now looking for drunk boaters.

Officers with the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency said “Operation Dry Water" is underway. 

If you're going out to enjoy the lake and know you might have a couple drinks, make sure you have a designated boat driver.

"We have extra officers out on the waterways across the state, and we're going to be looking for impaired boaters,” Josh Landrum said. “If we find an impaired boater and we give them field sobriety tests and they fail those field sobriety tests, then they'll go to jail for BUI."

Operation Dry Water is a nationwide push to help prevent people from getting hurt.

"In a lot of our boat accidents across the state, especially on any boat accident that involves fatality or serious injury, a lot of times, one of the leading factors in those accidents is alcohol,” Landrum said.

As boating officers work to make the waterways safer, make sure you hydrate, especially if you're drinking alcohol.

"They can get impaired faster on the waterway than they would on dry land, so that's what makes alcohol and water just not mix very well when they're boating,” Landrum said.

TWRA officers have already made several boating under the influence arrests this summer on Percy Priest Lake, so make sure if you're the boat driver, you stay sober.

"Alcohol and boats and impaired drivers of boats just don't mix,” Landrum said. “I mean that is a bad combination to have."

Saturday afternoon, officers arrested one person for a BUI. A first offense generally carries up to 11 months and 29 days in jail. In the state of Tennessee, fines may range between $250 and $2,500. You could also lose your boat license. 

Starting Monday, two new boating laws go into effect.