Enforcement cracking down on boating under the influence

MARQUETTE — While drinking and driving a vehicle is commonly known as illegal, drinking and driving a boat is also against the law.

According to the Michigan DNR, more than 20–percent of recreational boating deaths have been influenced by alcohol. Due to the dangers of boating while under the influence, there will be heightened enforcement during the weekend of June 24th thru June 26th, in preparation for the Fourth of July. The DNR along with the U.S. Coast Guard are asking boaters to take the Operation Dry Water Pledge.

The pledge was introduced in 2006 and states that the driver will never operate a boat under the influence. There are many different factors that can intensify the effects of alcohol while on a boat, such as the sun, wind, and the motion of the waves.

“Your risk running into objects in the water, you risk running into other vessels, people swimming, end up on a beach, run a ground on rocks, you could end up potentially causing search and rescue cases because of faulty driving” said U.S. Coast Guard Timothy Koscielny.

The U.S. Coast Guard of Marquette encourages boaters to stay sober while operating a boat and also remember to wear a life jacket, especially while in Lake Superior. For more information on boating rules and regulations, click here.