More Ohio Patrols Highlight Drunk Boating Danger

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Extra waterway patrols in Ohio will highlight the dangers of boating while drunk or on drugs.

The Ohio Division of Watercraft and the Cleveland-based Great Lakes district of the Coast Guard are participating in the stepped-up national enforcement effort called "Operation Dry Water" Friday through Sunday.

The Coast Guard says alcohol use was a leading factor in nearly 17 percent of recreational boating deaths last year.

Commander David Beck with the Coast Guard's enforcement branch in Cleveland says the sun, waves, vibration and dehydration magnify the effect of alcohol while boating.

"Operation Dry Water" involves thousands of local, state and federal marine law enforcement officers coast-to-coast.

In Ohio, operating a boat under the influence of alcohol or drugs is punishable by fines, jail and loss of boating registration privileges.