Fourth of July boaters can expect state police patrols

Posted: Updated:
MANASQUAN -

New Jersey State Police will be patrolling New Jersey’s waterways this Fourth of July in order to make sure boaters are safe during the holiday.

“Operation Dry Water” is a nationwide program designed to educate people about the dangers of boating while intoxicated. Enforcement begins June 30.

"The state police want you to come out here and have a good time. We just don't want you to be intoxicated,” says Sgt. Christopher Jones.

Jones says that about 75 percent of all boating crashes, injuries and fatalities involve alcohol.

“Troopers will stop a boat for any violation, registration, navigational rules. At that point they're trained to detect operators who are under the influence,” Jones says.

State police say that there are about 165,000 registered boats in New Jersey. They say that the number of fatalities are lower in the state than the national average. There are about five to seven boating fatalities a season, according to police.

“Think about it. You're on the water, you're intoxicated, you're not wearing a life jacket. The odds are stacked against you,” says Jones.

Police say that all boat passengers should wear life jackets or know where they are located and how to use them.

Jones says that just like driving a car, the legal blood alcohol level to drive a boat is below .08

State police say that the Fourth of July holiday is the busiest boating weekend of the year.

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