Summer, boats and alcohol.

For many, the activities seem to be interrelated. But for people who abuse alcohol on the water the consequences can be deadly.

Boating under the influence is just as dangerous as driving a motor vehicle while intoxicated and just as illegal. Operating a boat while impaired not only endangers the lives of you and your passengers, but also endangers every other user of the waterway around you.

It is unlawful to operate any sail or powered vessel while under the influence of intoxicants or drugs. Here are some important facts to consider.

In the state of Tennessee Conviction for operating under the influence will result in fines of up to $2,500 on the first offense, $2,500 on the second offense and $5,000 for the third offense. A jail sentence of 11 months and 29 days may also be imposed for any conviction and operating privileges may be suspended from one to ten years. Additional federal penalties may also be assessed.

If you choose to drink and boat, make sure you have a designated captain. Make sure to require your passengers to wear life jackets be mindful the law.

Practice Safe Boating