The Fourth of July is just around the corner, and Friday through Sunday, officers from federal to local levels will have patrols on waterways across the state looking for impaired boaters.
But the law isn’t just for power boats. It’s also illegal to operate any boat while high or drunk, including, but not limited to, boats such as kayaks, canoes, row boats and inflatable rafts.
KIRO 7 looked over the Coast Guard‘s boating statistics for 2017, which show fewer boat crashes and deaths compared to the previous year, however, alcohol use is the leading known contributing factor in deadly boat crashes.
Five people were killed in alcohol-related boating crashes last year as compared to three in 2016.
Authorities want to send a message ahead of Independence Day that there is zero tolerance for putting others at risk by operating any boat while under the influence, whether it be alcohol, marijuana or another intoxicating substance.
For lakes and waterways that allow power boats, officers will often look for speeders, and once stopped, they look for any signs of boating under the influence.
Refusing to submit a blood or breath test when asked will leave you with a civil infraction and could cost you more than $2,000.