By: Noelani Mathews | WCTV Eyewitness News
July 4, 2019
DECATUR COUNTY, Ga. (WCTV) -- Local law enforcement is out on patrol for the 4th of July, but not just on the road. Georgia's Department of Natural Resources is making sure those on the water are safe too.
Thursday afternoon, Game Wardens Quinn Fogle and Greg Castelli were making some of the first of many safety stops on the Flint River in Bainbridge.
"It tends to get worse during the day as more and more people get comfortable," said Fogle.
As the party in the heat continues, checking for life jackets turns into checking for impaired operators.
They say the violation is easier to find on the holidays.
"The water, the sun, the heat, and all that weighs in on your ability to make the judgment call," said Fogle.
He says in the last year, the region has stopped 50 cases of BUI, boating under the influence.
"Your head has to be on a swivel the entire time you're operating a boat and alcohol only impairs that," said Fogle.
On July Fourth, game wardens are watching closely until the early hours of morning, as a few dozen boats quickly turn into more than 200.
"We're certainly hoping that everyone out here is having a good time. We just really want to promote boating safety to everyone out there on the water," said Castelli.
They say their goal is to make this holiday as safe as it is fun.
The DNR says these safety efforts will continue throughout the busy Summer season.