Sheriff's Office
Sheriff Jerry W. SmithThe Sheriff’s Office serves all the citizens of Butte County by providing a mix of public safety and public service functions. The Sheriff’s Office provides around-the-clock law enforcement service to every region of the county. In addition to 24 hour policing, we offer Butte County citizens a full range of services including, coroner services, civil services, court security and corrections.

Officers focus on boating under the influence during Operation Dry Water

Butte County Sheriff's Office launched heightened enforcement of BUI laws, June 27-29, 2014

Thursday, July 03, 2014/Categories: Press Release

Oroville, CA (July 2, 2014) The Butte County Sheriff’s Office participated in Operation Dry Water June 27-29, as part of a nationally coordinated effort to reduce the number of accidents and deaths related to boating under the influence (BUI).

During this three-day weekend, deputies were on the water reminding boaters about the dangers of boating under the influence and detecting boaters who were suspected of being impaired. Officers focused their efforts on the Afterbay Recreation area.

Boating under the influence continues to be a major problem nationwide. In fact, the leading factor in boater deaths is alcohol use while boating1. By participating in Operation Dry Water, the Butte County Sheriff’s Office is doing our part to keep recreational boaters safe and reduce the number of accidents and deaths related to alcohol or drug use.

"Our agency encourages boaters to enjoy the boating season with friends and family, and we also encourage you do it in a safe and responsible way,” says Sgt. Steve Collins. “Drinking alcohol while on a boat can have serious, even deadly, consequences, and our goal is to make sure everyone is enjoying their time on the water and staying safe.”

In  California boaters whose blood alcohol content (BAC) level exceeds the state limit of .08 can expect to be arrested for BUI and face other serious penalties including having your vessel impounded, payment of fines, jail time and loss of boating or even driving privileges. Operation Dry Water patrols included saturation patrols as well as boater education and outreach.

Operation Dry Water is a joint program of the Butte County Sheriff’s Office, the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators, the U.S. Coast Guard, California State Parks and U. S. Fish and Wildlife.

As a result of our efforts over 200 vessels and 400 boaters were contacted, 1 BUI arrest, 1 drunk in public arrest and over 51 citations and warnings were issued. (These statistics don’t include California State Parks enforcement numbers.)

We will be looking for those indications of boating under the influence this 4th of July weekend on the Sacramento River, the Afterbay and on Lake Oroville with zero tolerance for BUI violations. If you are going to be drinking alcohol and operating a watercraft we will be looking for you. Be smart and don’t operate a vessel if you’ve been drinking alcohol.

For more information on Operation Dry Water, please visit

Number of views (425) /Tags: