NEWS

Stay safe, boat sober

Increased BUI enforcement for holiday weekend

7/1/2019 1:05:21 PM

Cheyenne - To keep boaters safe on the water for Independence Day, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department asks adults to be mindful of alcohol consumption. Alcohol use is a leading contributing factor in recreational boater deaths and boating crashes. As of July 1, 2019, the  blood alcohol concentration limit of someone operating motorized boats is 0.08 percent, the same as operating a motor vehicle. 
 
“Boating impaired can put everyone at risk. It is as deadly as driving under the influence,” said Aaron Kerr, Game and Fish law enforcement coordinator. “At any given moment there are individuals in the water, on paddle boards or in other boats who trust boat operators to be alert and in control of their vessel. People’s lives depend on it.”
 
Game and Fish encourages boaters to avoid drinking alcohol while on the water or operating a boat after you have consumed alcohol. Use of both legal and illegal drugs also impairs judgment and reaction time and makes it dangerous to operate a boat.
 
“Sun, wind, noise, vibration and motion are common stressors on the water and they can intensify the side effects of alcohol, drugs and some medications,”  Kerr said. “Drinking a small amount can have greater impacts to judgement, balance, vision and reaction time.” 
 
To encourage safety, Game and Fish is participating in the annual Operation Dry Water heightened awareness and enforcement weekend, July 5-7. This three-day weekend is a national weekend of increased enforcement of boating-under-the-influence laws and recreational boater outreach. In 2018, 574 local, state and federal agencies participated. Law enforcement officers contacted 201,888 boaters, made 494 BUI arrests and issued 26,565 citations and warnings for safety violations.
 
As part of Operation Dry Water, law enforcement will be on the water informing boaters about safe boating practices and removing impaired operators. Plan to bring the required safety equipment this upcoming holiday:
 

  • A life jacket for each individual on board. Life jackets must be properly-sized, U.S. Coast Guard approved and in good condition. They cannot be waterlogged, torn or have straps broken or missing. Life jackets also need to be readily accessible to the passengers on board. Children 12 years old and under are required to wear a life jacket while the boat is underway unless they are inside an enclosed cabin. 
  • A minimum of one U.S. Coast Guard approved throwable flotation device, which includes ring buoys and float cushions, aboard boats 16 feet and longer.  
  • A proper fire extinguisher on any boat with an inboard engine, permanently installed fuel tank, closed living space, double bottoms that are not sealed to the hull or compartments that store fuel tanks or other combustible materials. Multiple extinguishers may be needed depending on the size of the boat.
  • Navigation lights are required when boating from sunset to sunrise. All motorized boats are required to display a red and a green light to represent the port (left) and starboard (right) sides, as well as a white light that is visible 360 degrees when underway. Again, the types of lights required differ based on the size of the boat.
To safely operate a motorized watercraft, all operators must be at least 16 years old, obey any buoys or markers in the water, and avoid reckless or careless operation. 
 
Boaters can learn more about safe boating by visiting the Game and Fish website or operationdrywater.org.
 

(Sara DiRienzo (307) 777-4540)

- WGFD -

 

2020 Wyoming Wildlife calendar available now

Glimpse into the remarkable lives of wildlife

Continue reading...




Sage grouse reproduction up slightly in 2019

Based on preliminary data from the wings of harvested chicks and hens

Continue reading...




Wyoming Game and Fish director testifies to US Senate Committee about CWD

Testimony provided a history of CWD management in Wyoming and impacts to the state’s wildlife populations.

Continue reading...




Wyoming Game and Fish director to testify to US Senate Committee about CWD

The testimony will stream live on Dec. 4 beginning at 8 a.m. mountain time.

Continue reading...




Holiday gift ideas for the hunter, angler and wildlife viewer on your list

Easily find the perfect holiday gift for the person who likes to hunt, fish or enjoy wildlife

Continue reading...




Women driving hunting, fishing numbers

More women are hunting and fishing in Wyoming

Continue reading...




Game and Fish wildlife habitat management areas beginning to close for winter

Closures provide protections for wildlife on their winter ranges

Continue reading...




Wyoming’s wild turkeys good fall hunting and eating

Turkeys provide excellent food and mementos of feathers, beards and spurs to commemorate the hunt long after.  

Continue reading...




Game and Fish Commission dedicates funding for mule deer

The commission also heard updates on CWD, AIS
 

Continue reading...




WYDOT receives $14.5 million federal grant for wildlife crossing project

Funding will be used for underpasses, fencing and related improvements along a 19-mile stretch of US 189 between La Barge and Big Piney

Continue reading...




Email Newsletter

Email Newsletter Sign Up

Stay up to date on all Wyoming Game and Fish news either by email or text message. Click the link below to get started.

Sign Up Today

SHOP WYOMING GAME & FISH STORE   SHOP NOW!

Conserving Wildlife - Serving People