- Associated Press - Saturday, June 30, 2018

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - Connecticut’s Environmental Conservation Police is stepping up enforcement of the state’s boating under the influence laws.

It’s part of the national Operation Dry Water campaign , which began Friday and runs through July 1. The goal is to reduce alcohol- and drug-related accidents and fatalities on the waterways.

The EnCon Police also hope their presence will increase public awareness of the state’s drunken boating laws. In Connecticut, it is illegal to operate a vessel with a blood alcohol level of .08 or higher - the same as operating a vehicle.

U.S. Coast Guard statistics show there were 35 boating accidents in Connecticut between 2013 and 17. Twenty-three resulted in a total of 24 deaths. Alcohol is the leading contributing factor in recreational boating deaths and a major contributor to accidents.

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