This year, June 30-July 2 has been designated as Operation Dry Water weekend. As a partner in this national campaign, troopers will focus their efforts on detecting and apprehending impaired boat operators.

Operation C. A. R. E.

Colonel Sandra K. Karsten, superintendent of the Missouri State Highway Patrol, is telling Missouri’s travelers it’s imperative they include safety in their plans for the upcoming July Fourth holiday. Many people will travel somewhere to enjoy the many recreational opportunities in our state. No matter what you plan for the four-day weekend, please be courteous and follow all Missouri traffic and boating laws.

In 2016, five people were killed and 565 injured in Missouri over the holiday in 1,370 traffic crashes. Over the 2016 July Fourth holiday, troopers arrested 121 people for driving while intoxicated.

The 2017 counting period for the July Fourth holiday will be from 6 p.m., Friday, June 30, to 11:59 p.m., Tuesday, July 4.

The Highway Patrol will be participating in Operation C.A.R.E. (Crash Awareness & Reduction Effort) over the July Fourth holiday weekend. All available officers will be patrolling Missouri’s roadways enforcing Missouri’s traffic laws in addition to being available to assist motorists. There is never a good reason to drive over the speed limit. There is always a good reason to wear your seat belt. Drinking and driving don’t mix. Remember: Statutes direct motorists to drive with the highest degree of care. Please be a courteous driver and follow all traffic laws.

Troopers throughout the state will participate in a 20-Mile Trooper enforcement project on Friday, June 30, and Tuesday, July 4, 2017. As part of this special enforcement project, troopers will patrol a 20-mile length of interstate or designated highway and make every effort to be a visible enforcement presence. The 20-Mile Trooper project will take place on interstates 29, 44, 55, and 70, and U.S. Highways 60 and 63. Troopers will target all traffic violators and being especially vigilant of aggressive driving violations.

Motorists who need assistance or who witness criminal activity while traveling on Missouri’s roadways can contact the nearest Highway Patrol troop headquarters by calling the Patrol Emergency Report Line at 1-800-525-5555 or *55 on a cellular phone. Motorists may call 1-888-275-6636 to check for road construction along their travel route.

The only 100 percent survivable traffic crash is the one that never happens. Make sure everyone in the vehicle is properly restrained in a seat belt or child restraint. Every day as we travel on Missouri’s roadways, we trust that every driver on the road is going to obey the speed limit, pay attention, and drive sober. “Don’t Violate The Trust.”

Operation Dry Water

Colonel Sandra K. Karsten, superintendent of the Missouri State Highway Patrol, announces the Patrol's participation in Operation Dry Water.

Operation Dry Water is a national, year-round campaign in which marine law enforcement officers from across the country coordinate special patrols to keep our waterways safe from boaters operating under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

This year, June 30-July 2 has been designated as Operation Dry Water weekend. As a partner in this national campaign, troopers will focus their efforts on detecting and apprehending impaired boat operators. ODW’s heightened awareness and enforcement three-day weekend takes place annually around July Fourth. Troopers will be looking out for the no wake violations during that time too (which many times leads to BWI arrests).

Missouri boat operators found to have a blood alcohol content of .08% or greater will be arrested for boating while intoxicated. Intoxicated boat operators endanger themselves, their passengers, and other boaters utilizing our many waterways.

“Missouri is blessed with a variety of water-related recreation opportunities,” said Col. Karsten. “Floating, swimming, and boating activities should be fun, safe experiences. When your family or friends plan a water outing, make sure safety is part of the discussion. Life jackets save lives. Consuming alcohol and then operating a vessel puts lives at risk. The Missouri State Highway Patrol joins its Operation Dry Water partners in stressing the importance of being sober when in and around water. Please don’t operate a vessel if you’ve consumed alcohol.”

Last year, 538 local, state, and federal agencies participated in a weekend long event of heightened BWI enforcement known as Operation Dry Water. Officers removed 367 intoxicated boat operators from the water.

In addition, law enforcement officers made contact with over 131,054 boaters concerning BWI or boating safety enforcement and awareness. United States Coast Guard 2015 data reveals that alcohol use remains the primary known contributing factor for recreational boater deaths.

In 2016, troopers arrested a total of 11 people statewide for boating while intoxicated, contacted 661 vessels and 2,000 boaters, and issued 114 boating violation summonses and 613 warnings on Missouri waterways.

Marine operations troopers also issued 176 summonses for non-boating violations during the 2016 Operation Dry Water weekend. Special enforcement operations will continue throughout the summer months. Boaters are reminded that designating a sober operator is always the safest bet if alcohol is going to be included in their boating experience.