RI police to step up efforts against impaired boaters

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Rhode Island State Police and the state Department of Environmental Management say their officers will be stepping up efforts against boaters operating under the influence of drugs and alcohol.

Officials said Thursday that state and DEM police will patrol waterways statewide during the next two weekends focusing on boat operators who are impaired.

Authorities say the goal is to reduce alcohol- and drug-related crashes and fatalities and to educate people on the dangers of using alcohol and drugs while boating.

Police say there were 40 crashes and three deaths involving recreational boats in Rhode Island last year.

A conviction for boating under the influence carries possible jail time, a fine of up to $500 and a suspension of up to six months of the right to operate a watercraft.

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