4th of July weekend: CPW heightens enforcement for boating DUI’s

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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO/KJCT)-- It’s been a hot Colorado summer so far as more and more people will be hitting the water to stay cool this season.

However, if you're going boating, you should be aware of proper boat safety.

Being safe on the water and promoting boat safety is a top priority for Colorado Parks and Wildlife.

CPW will be taking part in the annual Operation Dry Water heightened awareness and enforcement weekend.

Starting July 4 through July 8, officials will increase their enforcement efforts to lower the number of accidents and deaths related to alcohol and drug use on waterways.

This enforcement period runs through the Fourth of July weekend, as it is one of the most popular holidays for drinking and boating.

"Boating is a favorite pastime of Coloradans and visitors alike, but we want to make sure that everyone is enjoying their time on the water responsibly," said Grant Brown, boating safety program manager with Colorado Parks and Wildlife.

Brown says that alcohol use is the leading contributing factor in recreational boating deaths.

There are many dangers to boating under the influence, such as:

• Stressors like sun or motion can intensify the effects of drugs or alcohol.
• Alcohol can impact your response to cold water immersion.
• Intoxication can cause slips, falls and other dangers accidents while boating.

This is all part of a national effort to encourage safe boating practices while on the water.

Three things to remember from operation dry water before heading out on your boat is to be boat sober, always wear a life jacket and take a boating safety course to set yourself up, and everyone around you, for a fun and safe boating experience.

To take the pledge to boat sober and learn more about boating under the influence, visit Operation Dry Water: www.operationdrywater.org

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