Natural Resources Police Remind Marylanders That Drinking And Boating Don’t Mix
Alcohol involved in half of all boating accidents
OCEAN CITY — Everyone knows that drinking and driving is a lethal combination. The Maryland Natural Resources Police (NRP) want Marylanders to know that the same holds true for drinking and boating: they don’t mix.
As the weather turns from warm to hot and Marylanders begin making plans on the water for Labor Day weekend, the NRP are increasing their efforts to instill this safety message into the minds of every Maryland boater. Toward that end, the NRP kicked-off the summer boating season with a campaign that focuses on the importance of boating sober.
The “Drinking and Boating Don’t Mix” slogan is boldly displayed on a boat that was destroyed in an alcohol-related boating accident and will be on display in Ocean City at the West Ocean City boat ramp (which is located at the West Ocean City Commercial Harbor) through Labor Day Weekend. The boat helps illustrate the importance of not adding alcohol to a day of boating.
Approximately 50% of all boating accidents are alcohol related. Alcohol is a depressant and affects balance, vision and coordination. It increases heat loss from the body so hypothermia occurs faster. When combined with engine noise, vibration, sun and wind, alcohol causes boaters to be fatigued much faster than normal. Maryland law recognizes .07 as legally impaired and .08 as legally intoxicated.
“What really motivates us as police officers to educate the public about this topic, is that all of these alcohol related boating accidents could have been prevented,” said Col. Mark S. Chaney, superintendent of the Natural Resources Police. “We’re hoping the site of the destroyed boat will serve as a chilling reminder of what can happen when boaters bring alcohol into the equation.”
NRP would like to remind boaters that Maryland law states that anyone born on or after July 1, 1972, must possess a valid certificate of boating safety education when operating any motorized vessel on State waters. NRP encourage anyone operating a boat to take a boating safety course, regardless of age. Boating safety classes are offered statewide and can be found on line at www.dnr.state.md.us/boating. Internet classes are not valid in MD due to the fact that all exams must be proctored. Please contact (410) 260-3280 for more information.