State Parks Reminds Boaters and Paddlers to Stay Sober This Summer

As part of a nationally coordinated effort, Operation Dry Water, federal, state and local law enforcement agencies will be conducting boating-under-the-influence (BUI) emphasis patrols on waterways across Washington throughout July. In Washington, it is illegal to use any substance that impairs a person’s ability to operate a boat. The law applies to all boats, including kayaks, canoes, rowboats and inflatable fishing rafts. State law allows law enforcement officers to require suspected intoxicated boaters to submit to a breath or blood test. Refusing to submit to a test is a civil infraction with a maximum fine of $2,050. The penalty for operating a boat under the influence is a gross misdemeanor punishable by a maximum fine of $5,000 and 364 days in jail. Additionally, a BUI is considered a prior offense if there are later convictions for driving under the influence (DUI). Boaters can learn more about BUI laws in Washington State and about the risks of boating under the influence by visiting //

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