Operation Dry Water kicks off in Jackson County

 JACKSON COUNTY, Ore. — Emigrant Lake is one of the most popular Fourth of July destinations in southern Oregon. This year, the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office is taking it a step further to make sure no impaired boat operators are out on the lake.

Marine Patrol deputies are kicking off a weekend of increased BUII patrols, starting Thursday. It’s called Operation Dry Water, a nationwide effort to crack down on boating while impaired. Throughout the weekend, deputies will also be making sure everyone is following the law regarding things like life jackets, whistles and necessary paperwork.

“Between now and Sunday we’re gonna have between 3 and 5 officers out all the time from early in the morning till everybody goes to bed at night,” said Deputy Jason Denton with Jackson County Marine Patrol.

Denton said boating under the influence is almost identical to driving under the influence.  “If you were to just exchange the word boat and operate for drive and vehicle, it’s the exact same statue,” Denton said.

While Oregon boating laws allow open containers of alcohol in boats, boat operations can not be impaired or over the legal limit—that applies for motorized boats, rafts, kayaks and paddleboards.

“We’re actually going to be trying to scope out the people who have had too much, they’re impaired out here operating their boat and not being safe,” said Denton.

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