Tips on keeping safe out on the water this summer

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.

Something that most people forget is wearing a life jacket. Doing this is one of the most effective and simple life-saving strategies for safe recreational boating. For those unsure, boaters are required to have a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket on board to account for every passenger on the vessel.

It is said that nearly 85 percent of those who drown while boating were not wearing a life jacket. Boaters need to have life jackets available for all ages, and children under the age of 10 are required to wear the jackets while the boat is underway.

So while boating on the lakes, rivers and streams this year, always wear your life jackets while on board.

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 and be mindful the law.

** Click on the image below to see boating facts***

Practice Safe Boating