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FWC removes nearly 100 impaired operators during Operation Dry Water and the Fourth of July holiday

Media contact: Ashlee Sklute, Release Date: 07-11-2023   All Articles Tags:

In their 15th year participating in Operation Dry Water, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) officers spent their holiday weekend focused on the safety of people enjoying all that Florida’s waterways have to offer.

From July 1-3, FWC officers arrested 94 vessel operators for boating under the influence of alcohol or drugs, preventing the possibility of life-altering events from occurring.

“Tragic accidents occur when irresponsibility is present,” said Col. Brian Smith, Director of FWC’s Division of Law Enforcement. “Operating a vessel while impaired puts the vessel operator, everyone on board and everyone around them in danger. I have no doubt that the hard work our officers and partner agencies put in over the holiday weekend saved lives.”

Operating a vessel while under the influence of alcohol or drugs is illegal on all bodies of water and can lead to serious injuries and 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.

The FWC reminds boaters to enjoy the Florida sunshine and designate an operator that will remain sober to ensure the safety of everyone with them and around them plus encourages boaters to wear a life jacket and take a boating education course.

For more information about boating safety visit 

About Operation Dry Water

Operation Dry Water is a year-round Boating Under the Influence awareness campaign that facilitates a national weekend of BUI detection and enforcement aimed at reducing the number of alcohol- and drug-related boating incidents and fatalities. This year Operation Dry Water weekend took place July 1-3. The FWC and partner agencies play a vital role in protecting lives, promoting safe boating practices, ensuring legal compliance and fostering a culture of responsible behavior on the water.