The fourth of July weekend is THIS weekend!  Summer fun!  America's birthday party!  Fireworks, Bar-B-Q,  beer and boating!  WAIT!  Not so fast my red, white and blue boating enthusiast. The rules of the road are the rules of the rivers and lakes when it comes to drinking and driving.

Boating safety is the focus for the nationwide Operation Dry Water emphasis this weekend. Boaters are being urged by an increased law enforcement presence, to help keep everyone safe by not consuming alcohol or marijuana while out on the water - especially when operating a boat or paddle craft.

According to the U.S. Coast Guard," boating under the influence is the leading known contributing factor in fatal recreational boating accidents. In Washington state, it is illegal to use any substance that impairs a person's ability to operate a boat. The law applies to all boats, including kayaks, canoes, stand up paddleboards, rowboats, and inflatable fishing rafts."

 Here are some sobering facts to consider before drinking and boating.
  • State law allows law enforcement officers to require boaters suspected of operating a boat while intoxicated to submit a breath or blood test.
  • Refusing to submit to a test is a civil infraction with a maximum fine of $2,050.
  • The penalty for operating a boat under the influence is a gross misdemeanor punishable by a maximum fine of $5,000 and 364 days in jail.
  • Additionally, a BUI is considered a prior offense if there are later convictions for driving under the influence (DUI).
  • Just like operating a vehicle, the Per Se Limit for blood alcohol concentration is .08% while operating a vessel.

Today on the KIT Morning News (7-1-21) a couple of Yakima County Sheriff's deputies stopped by to talk about the Operation Dry Water Plan for our area.

LOOK: Here are the 50 best beach towns in America

Every beach town has its share of pluses and minuses, which got us thinking about what makes a beach town the best one to live in. To find out, Stacker consulted data from WalletHub, released June 17, 2020, that compares U.S. beach towns. Ratings are based on six categories: affordability, weather, safety, economy, education and health, and quality of life. The cities ranged in population from 10,000 to 150,000, but they had to have at least one local beach listed on TripAdvisor. Read the full methodology here. From those rankings, we selected the top 50. Readers who live in California and Florida will be unsurprised to learn that many of towns featured here are in one of those two states.

Keep reading to see if your favorite beach town made the cut.

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