Operation Dry Water, Toronto Police Service teams up with Canadian Safe Boating Council to reduce impaired-related deaths
Wednesday, August 2, 2017 - 10:34 AM
Drinking and boating accounts for approximately 40% of boating-related fatalities on Canadian waterways.
To raise awareness and reduce alcohol-related deaths, the Toronto Police Service is joining the Canadian Safe Boating Council (CSBC) to launch year five of an initiative called “Operation Dry Water.” Its goal is to discourage this potentially fatal practice.
With the summer boating season in high gear, the August long weekend is the perfect time to remind Canadian boaters about the risks of impaired boating. Combined with sun, wind, waves, and the rocking motion of the boat, the effects of alcohol on the water can be greatly increased.
The CSBC and the TPS would like, through this initiative, to raise awareness of the problem of boating under the influence and to remind boaters not to drink and boat.
Operation Dry Water will focus on the potential risks of impaired boating, and remedies that are currently in place to discourage it.
Federal statutes dictate that, whether or not your craft is motorized, you can be charged with Impaired Operation of a vessel under the Criminal Code of Canada if your blood alcohol level exceeds the .08 threshold.
This means you can be charged even if you are impaired while operating a canoe. A judge is able to, upon conviction, suspend your boating privileges but that’s not all. In the eyes of the law, impaired boating, like impaired operation of a motor vehicle, is a criminal offence that can have repercussions far beyond the loss of your boating privileges.
Operation Dry Water is aimed at reducing the number of alcohol-related accidents and fatalities on the water, while fostering a stronger and more visible deterrent to alcohol use while boating. The end goal? To achieve safer and more enjoyable recreational boating.
This initiative is made possible through support of Transport Canada’s Office of Boating Safety.
For more news, visit TPSnews.ca.
Constable Craig Brister, Corporate Communications, Constable Richard Baker, Marine Unit