WV DNR News Release
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Jim Justice, Governor
Stephen S. McDaniel, Director

News Release: June 26, 2018


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Media Contact: Samantha Smith 304-957-9364 Samantha.Smith@wv.gov

Contact:

Major B.C. Debord, Law Enforcement Section, 304-558-2784, DNR.Law@wv.gov

Natural Resources Police preparing for boating safety campaign

SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. — West Virginia Natural Resources Police officers will be patrolling the state’s rivers and lakes during Operation Dry Weekend, from June 29 to July 1, as part of a national campaign to reduce the number of accidents and fatalities related to boating under the influence.

The goal of Operation Dry Water is to raise awareness about the dangers of boating under the influence and to reduce the number of accidents and deaths attributed to impaired boating. Officers will be out in force looking for boaters whose blood alcohol concentration meets or exceeds 0.08, the legal limit in West Virginia.

“Boating is a safe and enjoyable pastime when people stay alert and follow the rules,” said Col. Jerry Jenkins, Chief of the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources Law Enforcement Section. “But if you are found to be impaired and operating a boat, you will be arrested. Just as drinking and driving on the road is illegal and dangerous, drinking and boating is equally dangerous and can lead to equal consequences, including arrests, serious injuries and even death."

The nationwide awareness and enforcement campaign, Operation Dry Water, is a partnership of the West Virginia Natural Resources Police, the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators and the U.S. Coast Guard.

The use of alcohol can impair a boater’s judgement, balance, vision and reaction time. Alcohol use is the leading contributing factor in recreational boating deaths in the United States. In 2017, 323 accidents occurred across the country because of alcohol use. The number of injuries associated with boating while intoxicated reached 255, and the number of deaths from alcohol were 118. Boating under the influence also applies to drugs. Even some prescription medications can make operating a recreational vessel unsafe. Visit operationdrywater.org or wvdnr.gov for more information about boating under the influence.

Reporters who wish to speak to a DNR Police officer about Operation Dry Water may contact the following lieutenants to coordinate interviews.    

District 1 – Farmington
Contact: Lieutenant Brad McDougal
Office 304-825-6787
brad.l.mcdougal@wv.gov

District 2 – Romney
Contact: Lieutenant Robert Clark Jr.
Office 304-822-3551
bob.a.clark@wv.gov

District 3 – French Creek
Contact: Lieutenant David James
Office 304-924-6211
david.b.james@wv.gov

District 4 – Beckley
Contact: Lieutenant Dennis Feazell
Office 304-256-6945
dennis.k.feazell@wv.gov

District 5 – Nitro
Contact: Lieutenant Jerry Payne
Office 304-756-1055
jerry.e.payne@wv.gov

District 6 – Parkersburg
Contact: Lieutenant Michael S. Coberly
Office 304-420-4550
michael.s.coberly@wv.gov

**DNR**

Photo courtesy of the West Virginia Department of Commerce West Virginia Natural Resources Police Officers will be patrolling the state’s waters for impaired boaters during Operation Dry Water June 29-July 1, 2018.
Photo courtesy of the West Virginia Department of Commerce West Virginia Natural Resources Police Officers will be patrolling the state’s waters for impaired boaters during Operation Dry Water June 29-July 1, 2018.