Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

FWC: Heightened Enforcement of Boating-Under-the-Influence During Operation Dry Water


Florida - Tuesday July 2, 2024: Operation Dry Water weekend takes place this coming holiday weekend, Thursday July 4th through Sunday July 7.

The national weekend of Boating Under the Influence detection and enforcement is aimed at reducing the number of alcohol- and drug-related boating incidents and fatalities. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and other participating law enforcement agencies will work together to make Florida waterways safer by identifying and removing dangerous or impaired vessel operators.

Every year, heightened awareness and enforcement efforts occur around Independence Day, a busy boating holiday often marked by fatal accidents involving alcohol or drug use. During this weekend and throughout the year, FWC law enforcement officers play a vital role in protecting lives by promoting safe boating practices, fostering a culture of responsible behavior on the water and removing impaired and unsafe boaters from the water.

“The safety of everyone enjoying our beautiful waterways here in Florida is a year-round priority for our officers” said Maj. Bill Holcomb, FWC’s Boating and Waterways Section Leader. “Boaters should expect sobriety checkpoints and saturation patrols statewide during the upcoming holiday weekend. We will be looking for any signs of boater impairment and removing unsafe boaters from the water. A great day on the water begins with safety.”

Alcohol use is the leading contributing factor in recreational boater fatalities and a leading factor in recreational boating incidents. During the ODW weekend, law enforcement officers will increase their presence on waterways, engaging with boaters to educate them about the risks of impaired boating. The goal is to combine education and enforcement to significantly reduce alcohol- and drug-related boating incidents.

Operating a vessel while under the influence of alcohol or drugs is illegal on all bodies of water and can lead to series injuries and consequences. In Florida, it is illegal to operate a vessel with a blood alcohol content of .08 or higher, the same as in a vehicle.

In collaboration with the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators and the U.S. Coast Guard, the FWC will kick off the 2024 ODW weekend with a national launch event in Destin on Wednesday, July 3.

The FWC reminds boaters to designate an operator who will remain sober to ensure the safety of everyone with and around them and encourages boaters to wear a life jacket and take a boating education course.

For more information, visit and