Skip to main content

Operation Dry Water

A banner with the Operation Dry Water log and photos of a boat and a car with text that says "on the road or the water you're headed nowhere fast while impaired." Also
Operation Dry Water logo with text that reads: Never Boat Under the Influence Florida.

What is Operation Dry Water?

Operation Dry Water is a year-round national effort to educate recreational boaters about the dangers of boating under the influence of alcohol or drugs and reduce the number of alcohol-related accidents and fatalities.

This national awareness campaign is coordinated by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) and works to foster a stronger and more visible deterrent to alcohol use on the water through the outreach efforts of FWC’s Division of Law Enforcement, NASBLA, the U.S. Coast Guard, and other participating law enforcement agencies in Florida. The FWC has been involved with the Operation Dry Water campaign since its inception in 2009. 

Dangers of Operating a Vessel While Impaired

Alcohol use continues to be the leading known contributing factor in recreational boater deaths nationwide and a leading contributor to boating accidents. Operating a vessel while under the influence of alcohol or drugs is illegal on all bodies of water and the use of both legal and illegal drugs impairs judgment and reaction time, which can lead to serious injuries and other consequences. In Florida, it is illegal to operate a vessel with a blood alcohol content of .08 or higher, the same as in a vehicle.

Operation Dry Water Weekend

Every year, heightened awareness and enforcement efforts occur over the three-day weekend around Independence Day, a busy boating holiday often plagued by drinking while boating and deadly incidents. During that weekend and throughout the year, FWC law enforcement officers play a vital role in protecting lives by promoting safe boating practices, fostering a culture of responsible behavior on the water and ensuring compliance with the law. The FWC and other participating law enforcement agencies work together to make Florida waterbodies safer by identifying and removing dangerous or impaired vessel operators. With more than a million registered recreational vessels in Florida, FWC officers are committed to ensuring the safety of everyone enjoying the state’s beautiful waterways. 

Two women on a boat wearing PFDs

Tips for Staying Safe on the Water

The FWC reminds boaters the best way to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience on the water is to remain sober and alert, wear a life jacket and take a boating safety education course.