CHATTANOOGA, Tenn (WDEF) – If you want to keep your head above water, you better know where you are and what you are doing.
TWRA says it’s inattention and alcohol consumption that can quickly turn a day of fun on the water – to something disastrous.
“Boating and Drinking a lot of people think they go hand in hand but it’s just like on the road with an automobile. If you are operating a vessel on the waters in the state of Tennessee you do have to be under a .08 blood alcohol content,” says David Holt, District Boating Officer for TWRA
Unlike a car, open containers are allowed on a boat but it is the driver’s responsibility to remain sober and to keep others safe.
“A lot of our fatal and serious injury accidents have a direct correlation with alcohol intoxication. That’s what we are really out there to prevent anyone from getting hurt. We want everyone to go out and have a good time but we want to make sure everybody goes home at the end of the day,” says Holt.
TWRA wants to remind boaters that drinking on the water can have a very different effect on your body than drinking on dry land.
“There are so many more stressors that are in play on the water that you won’t have at your local bar. You’ve got sun beating down on your head , engine noise, waves, operation and vibration of the boat hitting these waves,” Holt.
Remember-a Conviction for operating under the influence can result in fines up to $5,000 and nearly a year in jail.