Law enforcement watching for impaired boaters this Labor Day weekend

Posted at 7:37 AM, Sep 04, 2016

Labor Day weekend is in full swing, and thousands of boaters are on the waters causing increased traffic.

Officers with FWC are out making sure you’re safe.

"We're noticing what's going on, how people are boating, whether or not they're playing by the rules," said Officer Ben Norbrothen, as we joined him on patrol on the Intracoastal Waterway.

They're checking boats for a number of things, including safety equipment and decals. They're also keeping an eye out for intoxicated boaters.

"We're going to be watching the vessel in motion," said Norbrothen. "We're going to be seeing how its operating, seeing if there's anything unusual about it, something that would suggest impairment."

According to the FWC, last year in Florida alcohol caused more than 250 boating accidents and killed more than 90 people.

While you’re out cruising, be safe.

Remember, like driving a car, boaters must be below Florida’s legal limit of 0.08. Anyone caught operating a boat under the influence faces arrest.

Make sure to always boat with a life jacket, a first aid kit and a charged cell phone.

"My hope this Labor Day weekend is that we have a safe holiday weekend," said Norbrothen.

If you’re not on the water and you’re on the roads, AAA is offering a free program, Tow-2-Go. The service will transport drivers either home or somewhere safe within a 10 mile radius of the pickup location.