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ODW Campaign

What is Operation Dry Water?

Operation Dry Water (ODW) is a year-round boating under the influence awareness and enforcement campaign. The mission of ODW is to reduce the number of alcohol- and drug-related accidents and fatalities through increased recreational boater awareness and by fostering a stronger and more visible deterrent to alcohol use on the water.

Operation Dry Water's heightened awareness and enforcement three-day weekend takes place annually around July fourth, a holiday unfortunately known for  drinking and boating, and deadly accidents.

The 2019 Operation Dry Water heightened awareness and enforcement weekend
will take place nationwide, July 5 -July 7, 2019.

Awareness Campaign

  • The outreach and awareness portion of the Operation Dry Water campaign is in effect year-round.
  • Operation Dry Water focuses on spreading awareness of the danger of boating under the influence to the recreational boating public through the outreach efforts of NASBLA, the U.S. Coast Guard, participating law enforcement agencies nationwide and our partners.
  • With alcohol use remaining the leading contributing factor in recreational boater deaths, the mission of the ODW campaign and of those who support it is to change the cultural acceptance of drinking and boating and help boaters have safe and fun recreational boating experiences.
  • The outreach and media coverage leading up the the enforcement weekend lends law enforcement agencies the opportunity to educate and inform the recreational boating public about the dangers and implications of boating under the influence in your state.
  • Visit the Awareness Resources webpage for more information and materials.

Heightened - Enforcement Campaign

  • The purpose of the heightened enforcement component of the Operation Dry Water campaign is to deter boaters from boating under the influence of drugs or alcohol. When boaters chose to boat impaired they are endangering not only themselves but the many other boaters on the water as well.
  • We are very thankful for the law enforcement support that the Operation Dry Water campaign receives every year. Just as they do on the road, law enforcement officers keep us safe in many ways on the water. This heightened enforcement weekend facilitates an opportunity for officers in your community to remove impaired operators from the waterways and to inform and educate boaters about the dangers and implications of boating under the influence in your state.
  • If you are with a law enforcement agency and would like more information about participating in Operation Dry Water please visit the Law Enforcement webpage.
  • Since the launch of Operation Dry Water in 2009, the number of boating fatalities with alcohol named as a contributing factor has decreased in the United States*. However, alcohol use continues to be the leading known contributing factor in recreational boating deaths in the United States.
  • Operation Dry Water was launched in 2009 by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) in partnership with the United States Coast Guard.

Learn more by visiting our Resources page.

*USCG 2017 Recreational Boating Statistics