Texans advised to 'stay dry' while boating during July 4

If you plan to hit the water this July 4th weekend, Texas Parks & Wildlife is reminding you to be safe.

TPWD Game Wardens will be joining Operation Dry Water, a nationally coordinated campaign focused on deterring boating under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Last year, wardens arrested 42 individuals for Boating While Intoxicated (BWI) over the Fourth of July weekend and filed eight other charges for Driving While Intoxicated (DWI), says TPWD. They issued 1,474 citations and 1,797 warnings for various boating safety law violations.

Statewide, injuries and fatalities peak between the months of May and August, especially on weekends, says TPWD. Among the top contributors: operator inattention, careless/reckless operation, inexperience, and alcohol use.

Texas state law requires each occupant of a boat or paddle craft have access to a life jacket. Children under 13 must wear one while the boat or paddle craft is underway or drifting, says TPWD.

Visit TPWD’s boating laws website to learn more about boating safety, laws and requirements.