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Game and Fish officers keep Arizona’s waterways safe as part of Operation Dry Water

Posted July 25, 2017

Statewide initiative drives home the importance of boating sober

PHOENIX — Arizona Game and Fish Department (AZGFD) officers made contact with hundreds of boaters the weekend before the Fourth of July as part of Operation Dry Water, a national awareness and enforcement campaign that targets people who are operating a boat or watercraft while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.

Alcohol is a top factor contributing to recreational boater deaths, and the initiative’s goal is to increase safety on Arizona’s lakes and rivers and reduce the number of fatalities and injuries.

This year’s weekend of enhanced enforcement took place June 30 to July 2, in advance of the Fourth of July, which fell on a Tuesday. During those three days AZGFD officers stopped 812 boats, 74 of which had a designated driver. Three arrests were made for operating watercraft under the influence, 94 citations were written, and two individuals were arrested for driving motor vehicles under the influence. Statewide, 89 AZGFD officers participated in the initiative.

The lakes and waterways patrolled were: Lake Havasu, Lake Mead, Lake Mohave, Lake Pleasant, Lake Powell, Apache Lake, Bartlett Lake, Canyon Lake, Saguaro Lake and Roosevelt Lake, as well as Bullhead City and Parker Strip along the Colorado River.

AZGFD has been participating in Operation Dry Water since the initiative began in 2009. AZGFD partners with local agencies on the effort, which is done in partnership with the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators and the U.S. Coast Guard.

Although the legal limit for operating a boat in Arizona is .08 blood-alcohol content, an operator is in violation of the law and may be prosecuted for operating a watercraft while impaired to the slightest degree by alcohol and/or drugs.

While on the water, boaters should also keep in mind:

For more information on boating safety or to sign up for a boating education course, visit