Indiana News

Officers patrolling local waters on busy boating day

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Many people will spend Memorial Day on the water. Those celebrations may include having a cold beer or another adult beverage while on a boat.

The Department of Natural Resources  and local police departments will be out Monday, keeping an eye on all the boaters. They’ll be looking for anyone who may have had too much to drink.

It’s not illegal to drink and operate a boat in Indiana. DNR told 24-Hour News 8 there are no open container laws on boats. But, if you’re operating a boat you cannot be intoxicated.

DNR warns that too much alcohol can blur your vision, cause you to lose your balance and slow your reaction time. Those are all very dangerous side affects if you’re on a busy lake with a lot of other boaters.

DNR said it’s best to use moderation, and have someone designated to operate the boat and stay sober.

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“Just like you’re driving a car, .08 is the legal limit and if you are at .08 or above, you’re boating while intoxicated and you’re subject to arrest and your license is suspended just like I’d you were driving a vehicle,” said Jet Quillen with DNR.

More officers than usual will be out on the water Monday, all of them checking to see if boats are driving recklessly, and then if alcohol is playing a part in that. They’ll also be looking for minors who are drinking.

Last Memorial Day weekend, DNR arrested or cited more than 31 minors for drinking. Officers also found nine people boating while intoxicated statewide.

For additional boating laws and safety tips click here.