When gearing up to hit the local lakes and rivers this holiday weekend, you won't be alone as officials say it's one of the busiest for boaters. Whether you're waverunning, tubing or just enjoying a family outing, Department of Natural Resources Rangers say they're going to be in full force making sure drivers are following the rules.
"You're not in a car where you're in a climate-controlled environment. On a boat you got the sun beating down on you, you got the wind blowing in your face, you've got the waves and the motion of the boat moving up and down. All those additional elements right there will further impair the operator," said Ranger First Class Randy James.
Since the blood alcohol limit was lowered to 0.08 for boaters, rangers say they've had to issue more BUI's, but those aren't the only violations officials will be looking for. Rangers say one of the some of the most important rules they enforce are making sure all children under the age of 13 stay buckled up with life jackets and drivers are being mindful of fellow boaters.
"We watch how the boats are operating in the vicinity of other boats. Once you get within 100 feet of another boat, if that boat stops you need to bring your boat down to idle speed," said James.
Rangers say they understand the holidays are a time for enjoyment and aren't looking to throw any parties overboard, but they'll be high visible on the water to ensure everyone is safely celebrating.