The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office Operation Dry Water, a national Boating Under the Influence awareness and enforcement campaign conducted on waterways and at boat ramps in Englewood, Nokomis and Venice over the weekend, came up with one potentially life-saving stop.
There was one BUI arrest. A vessel was stopped for violation of a slow speed manatee zone (operating a vessel on plane outside the channel marker) and the operator showed signs of impairment. Field sobriety tests pegged the suspect's blood-alcohol content at .23, nearly three times the legal limit. Also onboard: One adult female and two children, ages 1 and 2.
Over the course of three days, activities included increased patrols, life-jacket checks and boater education. Alcohol limits are the same on the water as on the road, so anyone boating with a .08 breath alcohol concentration or above can be arrested.
Marine patrol deputies made 25 vessel stops to conduct safety checks, and issued 32 verbal/written boating safety warnings and two citations.
While this operation has ended, marine patrol deputies will increase patrols again during Fourth of July holiday weekend.