Boaters be warned: Windsor police to increase water patrol

The Windsor police marine unit will take part in nationwide Operation Dry Water between Friday and Monday, cracking down on bad boating habits this long holiday weekend.
The Windsor Police Service will put to use its new $350,000 boat this weekend. (Amy Dodge/CBC News)

The Windsor Police Service will be cracking down on bad boating habits this long weekend.

Members of the department’s marine unit will take part in nationwide Operation Dry Water between Friday and Monday.

Officers will be patrolling the waterways and will be promoting safe boating through enforcement.

Police will be looking for boaters who are drinking on the waterways.

Boaters caught drinking and boating in Ontario face consequences similar to those for drinking and driving.

Drinking and boating penalties 

  • If stopped on the water, and the operator of a vessel registers a blood alcohol concentration in the “warn range,” which is between 0.05 and 0.08, the first time offence carries a three-day driver’s licence suspension with a $150 penalty with the Ministry of Transportation.
  • If caught in the warn range more than once over a five-year period, a driver will face a mandatory alcohol education program, and could be subject to treatment programs and ignition interlock.
  • If the operator of a vessel registers an alcohol concentration exceeding 0.08 or refuses to provide a suitable breath sample, there is an immediate 90-day driver’s licence suspension and a $150 administrative monetary penalty.

If convicted under the Criminal Code, the operator of the vessel will also face:

Driver's licence suspension, for one year up to a lifetime ban.

Mandatory alcohol assessment, education or treatment, and follow-up.

Ignition interlock condition on their driver’s licence for one year to up to a lifetime.

These sanctions apply to anyone who is caught drinking and operating motorized and non-motorized vessels, including power boats, canoes, kayaks, personal watercraft, sailboats, dinghies and other inflatable boats and rafts.

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