Many Missouri residents like to enjoy a nice cold beer on a hot day while they're on out a boat. It seems harmless enough to crack a cold one and take a dip this summer, but boaters should be aware that law enforcement officers are on the lookout.
The Missouri State Highway Patrol has announced a planned crackdown on boating while intoxicated, which they see as a form of drunk driving. The increased patrols are scheduled for June 22nd through June 24th.
The blood-alochol limit for people driving boats in Missouri is the same as it is for driving a car - .08. The crackdown is being called Operation Dry Water and is a part of a nationwide campaign against driving under the influence of alochol.
Patrol officers will likely follow similar procedures when they approach a boat to the ones that they use when investigating a drunk driver. Breath tests will likely be administered since field sobriety tests could be questionable evidence iif given while on the water when balance can be affected by a variety of factors. Missouri residents should continue to be aware of their rights under the law in situations like this. Officers will still need probable cause to intiate an investigation of a boating while intoxicated incident.
The activity becomes a matter of increasing concern during the summer months when many local families are out enjoying the sunshine. Boating while intoxicated can lead to serious injuries if someone causes an accident with their boat, so it is not to be taken lightly.
Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, "Missouri Water Patrol getting ready for drunken boater crackdown," June 12, 2012.