B.W.I. No Less Deadly

Operation Dry Water is underway. The Suffolk County sheriff’s office has teamed up with the Coast Guard in a national boating-while-intoxicated enforcement initiative. Suffolk County Sheriff's office

Boating while intoxicated is just as serious an offense as driving while intoxicated, and the Suffolk County Sheriff’s office, which runs a marine task force on the East End, has also reminded people this holiday week that it is no less deadly.

The sheriff’s office has teamed up with the Coast Guard in a national boating-while-intoxicated enforcement initiative called Operation Dry Water. Both agencies will be in East Hampton Town waters this summer conducting patrols. 

Already this week, one boater was arrested in Shinnecock Bay for B.W.I. Robert A. Raffaelle, 50, of Fort Lee, N.J., was found speeding a 24-foot speedboat with a 400-horsepower engine in a no-wake zone on Sunday afternoon, the sheriff’s office said. Police found an open 25-ounce bottle of vodka and an empty 24-ounce beer can near him, according to a release.

Alcohol is the leading contributing factor in recreational boating deaths and a major contributor to accidents, the sheriff’s office said. Patrols will focus on educating boaters on safe boating practices and enforcing B.W.I. laws.