-- Valdosta, Ga. -- June 22, 2012 --
Operation Dry Water 2012 is a campaign targeting anyone who decides to have one to many behind the wheel.. of a boat. In Georgia if you're driving a boat with a blood alcohol level of .10 or higher you're breaking the law. Maritime law enforcement throughout the state, and country, are cracking down.
Lake Park resident Gary Nowell lives on the water. He said "I support it. I think people need to be out here and be safe because accidents can happen."
The campaign lasts through the weekend. In Georgia the legal limit for driving is .08. That means you can legally drink a little bit more alcohol when driving a boat than a car. But that doesn't mean the risks aren't as serious.
Valdosta resident Joseph Alvarez said "you've got to look for swimmers, you've got to look for other boats, you got to look for debris, bridges. I mean anything, you just got to be, to me, more alert on water."
Maritime law enforcement chose to spotlight this issue before the July 4th weekend which has been known for drinking, boating and deadly accidents. Driving a car while intoxicated is dangerous and illegal, but at least you can stop.
Alvarez went on to say "there's no such thing as breaks on water."
So far this year 63 people in Georgia have been arrested for operating boats under the influence.
The legal limit for boating under the influence in florida is .08. Alcohol is a factor in 16% of boating fatalities nationwide.