As boaters look forward to the July 4 vacation, law enforcement officers in New York City will be on heightened alert for those breaking drunken boating laws.
Over the holiday weekend, New York State Park Police, State Department of Environmental Conservation and local agencies will participate in the National Awareness and Enforcement Weekend. Operation Dry Water.
Officers on the water will focus on preventing impaired boating incidents and educating boaters about safe boating practices, including sober boating.
Alcohol consumption is the main factor contributing to the death of boaters.
“Like any motor vehicle, boats can be deadly weapons in the wrong hands,” said Bernard Rivers, director of the Law Enforcement Division at DEC. “It is absolutely essential that those who make their way to New York’s waters this holiday weekend are not weakened by alcohol or drugs, as it can turn a pleasant day into a tragic one in an instant.”
Operating a vessel under the influence of alcohol or drugs is illegal on all bodies of water and can result in serious injury, death and legal consequences. In New York City, it is illegal to operate a ship with a blood alcohol level (BAC) of 0.08% or more. New York City safety officials remind boaters to always sail sober and wear a life jacket when on or around the water.
New York is also continuing to phase in Brianna’s Law, which requires all operators of power boats to take a state-approved boating safety course. Passed in 2019, the law currently requires all motor boat operators born on or after January 1, 1993 to hold a boating safety certificate. Failure to comply results in a potential fine of $ 100 to $ 250.
As of 2022, this requirement extends to all boaters born on or after January 1, 1988. In 2023, the requirement extends to those born on or after January 1, 1983, and in 2024, until January 1, 1978.
The law will apply to all operators regardless of their age from 2025.