Operation Zero Alcohol underway
A boat safety blitz is underway on waterways throughout the province.
Both the Sûreté du Québec and the Québec Marine Associatin are patrolling this weekend, launching Operation Zero Alcohol.
The refresher campaign takes aim to increase awareness of the dangers of operating a boat while impaired by drugs or alcohol.
Yves Paquette speaks for the Québec Marine Association and says the practice is just as dangerous as drinking and driving a car. Exposure to the elements and dehydration from a day on the water actually increases the effect of alcohol consumption.
Paquette says of the 20 boating related deaths so far this year, 8 percent perished because their thinking and cognitive abilities were diminished by alcohol. He recommends pleasure boaters have a designated operator.
Impaired boating is a criminal offense. Sanctions range from a fine to imprisonment.
Paquette also encourages everyone, adults and children, to wear life vests, adding 80 percent of people who drown were not wearing one.
Photo: Sûreté du Québec