Utah Outdoor Recreation Rangers Target Boating and Off-Highway Vehicle DUIs in “Operation Dry Water” to Promote Safe Recreation

GAs we continue into summer, recreational enthusiasts across Utah will gather on our state’s waterways and off-highway vehicle (OHV) trails. With the increased public presence on both land and water, there is an upsurge in the number of incidents and fatalities during this time. From July 1 – 3, the Utah Division of Outdoor Recreation participated in the national Operation Dry Water heightened awareness and enforcement weekend. The division’s outdoor recreation rangers, as well as Division of Wildlife Resources conservation officers and State Parks rangers, will educate boaters and OHV operators about safe practices, including sober operation.

Alcohol use remains the leading known contributing factor in recreational boater fatalities, as well as incidents involving OHVs. 

“Boating and operating OHVs while impaired, continues to pose significant problems on Utah’s waterways and trails, and the tragedies that result from incidents involving impaired operators are entirely preventable,” said Chief Steve Bullock, Law Enforcement Chief of the Utah Division of Outdoor Recreation.

Operating a vessel on the water or an OHV on the trails while under the influence of alcohol or drugs is illegal and can lead to severe injuries, loss of life and legal consequences. In Utah, operating one with a blood alcohol content of 0.05% or higher is against the law. The Division of Outdoor Recreation reminds all boaters and OHV users to drive sober and to wear appropriate safety gear, such as life jackets and helmets, when on or around the water and trails.

Operation Dry Water is a year-round campaign to raise awareness about the dangers of boating and OHV operation while under the influence, in order to reduce the number of alcohol and drug-related incidents and fatalities.

For more information about boating and off-highway vehicle safety and the risks associated with operating under the influence, visit recreation.utah.gov or operationdrywater.org.

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