Operation Dry Water

With the weather heating up, officers can expect a vast number of boats out on the water this weekend and through till the end of the summer.

It can be a lot of fun but law enforcement officers want to make sure it's a safe kind fun on the water.

Some boaters don't mind the extra set of eyes out there checking for carelessness.

"I feel safer with my kids out here on the water knowing that people are held responsible to the law," said Josh Wilbur, a boater out on Snake River today.

Operation Dry Water was launched in the U.S. in 2009 by state and local marine law enforcement agencies.

According to Washington State Parks' Boating Programs, alcohol was a factor in at least 30% of people killed in boating accidents statewide since 2004.

The Walla Walla County Sheriff's Department says they want to reduce that number.

"We do have fatalities, that's the sad part of our job,"said Walla Walla Deputy Richard Schram. "That's what we're trying to avoid by educating the publc on boater safety."

A report by the U.S. Coast Guard shows operating a boat under the influence was a primary contributing factor in 7% of fatalities nationwide, last year.

Currently in the state of Washington, boating under the influence is considered a misdemeanor and denying a breathalizer test on the water is not against the law.

However, beginnging July 28th, breath tests will be enforced and a B.U.I will become a gross misdeamenor with a penalty up to $5,000 and 1 year in jail.