The Maine Marine Patrol will be on heightened alert for those violating Maine’s boating under the influence laws during the national Operation Dry Water weekend, June 26-28.

Operation Dry Water is a national awareness and enforcement campaign coordinated by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators that focuses on deterring boaters from boating under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

“Marine Patrol Officers will be conducting patrols on Maine's coastal waters from Kittery to the Canadian border focused on boaters who may be under the influence of alcohol or drugs,” said Maine Marine Patrol Major Rene Cloutier, who is the Bureau’s boating safety director. “They will also be taking every opportunity possible to provide information on safe boating practices and the importance of wearing life jackets.”

“Environmental stressors such as wind, noise, and the movement of the boat while on the water intensify the effects of alcohol or drug use on an individual while boating,” said Cloutier. “Boaters can become impaired more quickly on the water than on land.”

In 2014, the Maine Marine Patrol conducted boating under the influence details along the Maine coast, checking 166 boats and 508 boaters. “Fortunately, we didn’t have to remove anyone from the water for BUI,” said Cloutier. “But it provided us with an opportunity to communicate with a lot of people about the importance of boating sober and safely.”

For more information on Operation Dry Water, visit operationdrywater.org