Authorities Urge Boaters to Keep it Safe on Labor Day

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Lowndes County, Georgia- August 23, 2012

Lake Park resident Gary Nowell says "it will be a busy weekend, Labor Day. All the holidays are, Fourth of July and Labor Day."

Liquid in local lakes can provide endless fun this Labor Day weekend but if the liquid in your cup is alcohol it could be deadly.

So far this year there have been 9 boating incident-related fatalities and 33 total drownings on Georgia Waters. That's according to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.

Other local authorities are trying to clear up any misconceptions when it comes to drinking on the water.

Lowndes County Sheriff, Chris Prine, said "if you get behind the wheel of a boat or if you're in control of the boat itself you are just as liable to be charged with driving under the influence as in a vehicle."

In Georgia the legal alcohol limit for operating a boat is point one. Anything higher and you're breaking the law.

Lake Park resident, Gary Nowell, went on to say "I think it's a misconception. Boating is just as dangerous as driving. You shouldn't drink and drive a boat, or drink to excess and drive a boat."

Authorities have some tips for those that plan to spend the weekend on the water this Labor Day. Namely a designated driver, something common on land but less so on water.

This Labor Day weekend begins on Saturday September first and ends on Monday the third.