Col. Ron Replogle, superintendent of the Missouri State Highway Patrol, says in a press release that the Missouri Highway Patrol will participate in Operation Dry Water, a national campaign in which marine law enforcement officers from across the country coordinate special patrols during the last weekend in June to achieve a high visibility of boating under the influence enforcement. Troopers will focus their efforts over the weekend of June 28 through 30, to detect and apprehend intoxicated operators.

Missouri boat operators found to have a blood alcohol content of .08 percent will be arrested for boating while intoxicated. A vessel operator with a blood alcohol concentration above the legal limit runs a significantly increased risk of being involved in a boating crash, the patrol reports.

Missouri troopers arrested a total of 20 people statewide for boating while intoxicated during this same coordinated effort in 2012. Nationwide,  officers arrested 337 BWI operators from the water while issuing an additional 14,514 boating safety citations and warnings. In addition, law enforcement officers made contact with over 113,000 boaters concerning BWI or boating safety enforcement and awareness, the patrol says.

“Special enforcement operations will continue throughout the summer months,” the release states. “Boaters are reminded that designating a sober skipper is always the safest bet if alcohol is going to be included in their boating experience.”

The Patrol reminds motorists and watercraft operators to protect themselves by making sure everyone in the vehicle is properly restrained in a seatbelt or child restraint and everyone in the vessel is wearing an approved life jacket.