(by Kate Bouey)
Have fun on the water but don’t drink and drive.
Vernon North Okanagan RCMP are advising boaters that officers will be patrolling the lakes this summer, conducting routine patrols and safety checks.
“Every power-driven boat requires the operator to hold a valid pleasure craft operator’s license,” said Const. Kelly Brett, RCMP spokesperson. “Failing to provide a valid license could result in the operator being directed to shore and ticketed under the Small Vessel Regulations (SVR).”
Impaired boating will also be a top priority for the officers, said Brett, who pointed out that drinking and boating accounts for approximately 40 percent of boating-related fatalities on Canadian waterways.
“Whether or not your craft is motorized, you can be charged with Impaired Operation of a vessel under the Criminal Code of Canada if your blood alcohol level exceeds the .08 threshold,” said Brett.”In the eyes of the law, impaired boating, like impaired operation of a motor vehicle, is a criminal offence that can have repercussions far beyond the loss of your boating privileges.”