Jet-skiers and boat operators will need to sober up from Saturday when police begin testing them for illegal drugs such as ice, speed, ecstasy and cannabis.
Jet-ski and boat users aged under 21 will also be required to have a zero blood-alcohol reading from this weekend, Premier Ted Baillieu has confirmed.
"While drug testing has been commonplace on Victoria's roads, Victoria Police have not had the power until now to administer preliminary drug tests on the water," Mr Baillieu said.
Police will have portable testing equipment on the water and will be able to detain and escort jet-ski and boat users to shore, Police Assistant Commissioner Chris O'Neill said.
"What we have got now (in water policing) is what applies to the road system," Assistant Commissioner O'Neill said.
He said the vast majority of young water-users were responsible, but there were "a few ratbags" who needed to be policed.
Lifesaving Victoria's study of drowning deaths for the past financial year found alcohol played a role in the death of 10 of the 37 drowning victims.
Assistant Commissioner O'Neill said water police conducted more than 1000 marine search-and-rescue operations last summer.
"This is just far too many, and many of these could have been avoided," he said.
Officers will use intelligence gathered weekly to target potential trouble spots, he said.
Also on Saturday, fines will increase for failing to wear a life vest, up from $153 to $282, in line with fines for failing to wear a car seatbelt.
Ports Minister Denis Napthine said drowning deaths had halved since life jackets were introduced in 2005, but many people still did not wear them.
A spokesman for Dr Napthine said the drivers' licences of drunk and drug-affected vessel operators could be removed at the discretion of magistrates.
The penalty for operating an unregistered or unseaworthy vessel, or operating a vessel without a licence, will rise to $704.
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