The Houston Police Department wants to remind all who plan to enjoy festivities on the waterways, especially during the upcoming Memorial Day holiday weekend, to do so in a responsible manner and not drink and operate any form of watercraft.
Boating while intoxicated is the same law as for operating a motor vehicle on land. A blood alcohol content of .08 or higher is considered legally intoxicated.
The HPD Marine Unit will have extra patrols on the water for the Memorial Day weekend. Officers will be making contact with as many boaters as possible to check for anyone drinking while operating a boat, as well as checking equipment and any other operational violations.
Boating safety tips include:
- Take a certified boater safety course before operating or purchasing a boat.
- Have enough personal floatation devices for everyone on board; and wear them.
- Children under 13 years of age must wear a personal floatation device at all times when the boat is moving.
- If you are going to drink, don’t drive. Have a designated skipper for the boat.
- Personal watercraft need to obey the 50-foot rule and slow down to headway speed anytime they are within 50 feet of an object.
- Watch out for other boaters, and slow down.
HPD reminds everyone to act responsibly and avoid tragedies on our waterways. For more information on certified boater safety, go to the Texas Parks and Wildlife website at http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/