Batesville Herald Tribune, Batesville, Indiana

June 25, 2013

Keeping Hoosiers safe


The Batesville Herald-Tribune

---- — Throughout the summer months, the Indiana State Police and Indiana Conservation Officers will participate in many extra patrols to target impaired operators, according to an ISP Nixle message.

While troopers will focus on impaired drivers of motor vehicles, ISOs will take to the Indiana waterways and focus their attention on impaired boat operators. Remember, whether a person is operating a motor vehicle or a motor boat while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, it is all illegal and dangerous.

ISOs will join a national campaign called Operation Dry Water June 28-30 aimed at creating a heightened public awareness of the dangers of boating under the influence of drugs or alcohol. ODW (www.OperationDryWater.org) is a nationwide education and enforcement initiative developed by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators in partnership with the U.S. Coast Guard.

Since it was launched in 2009, the percentage of boating fatalities in the United States in which alcohol is listed as a contributing factor has decreased from 19 percent to 17 percent. Despite the decrease, boating while intoxicated accounts for a disproportionate number of on-the-water deaths. In 2011, alcohol was a contributing factor in just 8 percent of boating accidents overall but figured in 17 percent of boating fatalities.

In Indiana, the blood-alcohol limit for boat operators is the same as for vehicle drivers, 0.08. However, studies show that boat operators become impaired by alcohol sooner than people on land because of the motion of the boat, glare and heat of the sun and dehydration from sweating.