Alabama, it’s home to some wonderful lakes! And many people take advantage of these lakes and gets on a boat and ride on the water! On lakes like Lake Logan Martin, Lake Martin, Lake Wedowee, Weiss Lake, Guntersville Lake, Lewis Smith Lake, and more, you will see hundreds of boats on the water during the Summer time. People on boats sight see, play water sports, have parties, and go to some popular lake spots like Chimney Rock on Lake Martin, where many people jump off into the water, although I would not recommend you doing it.
Being on the water is like being on an open highway, there are no paint lines, and you have to be careful that you get around other boats safely, especially during the busy Summer holidays. But here is something else you need to think about, many people on boats does carry some beer or alcohol. And in Alabama, boating while drunk laws have not been very strict, until now. Most people on the lake have not thought about the consequences of boating and drinking. This Summer season, the Alabama Marine Police and other police departments are going to step up enforcement of boating while intoxicated in Operation Dry Water.
The new laws passed this year by the legislature are very strict if you are caught boating while intoxicated. If you are pulled over on the water, and are found ave a blood alcohol content of .08 percent or higher. Or you are under the influence of alcohol or any controlled substance, or a combination of alcohol and controlled substances. Or you are under the influence of any substance that impairs physical or mental abilities, you will be arrested and charged. Also new this year, if you are boating while intoxicated, and you injure or kill someone, you will be charged with a Class C Felony with a maximum 10 year prison sentence.
Driving a boat on the water has as much responsibility as driving a car on the highway. If you and your family or friends carries beer or alcohol on your boat this Summer, assign someone as the designated driver, so everyone can have a good time! I am not trying to be a party letdown, with several people being killed on the water because of a drunk boater, we have to keep our waterways safe!
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