Officers Watch For Intoxicated Boaters

Jun 20, 2011

You’re familiar with the term D-U-I, which means driving under the influence.  On water, the violation is known as B-U-I, or boating under the influence.  Captain Mike Fields of the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife says an effort next weekend stresses safety on the state’s waterways.

“By and large, most people understand the dangers of it.  It’s that small minority out there that we’re hoping to educate this coming weekend and make them understand the dangers of drinking and boating and hopefully , you know, they’ll understand that maybe they won’t drink this weekend of and can understand what a good time they’ll have regardless,” says Fields.

Fields encourages people who notice a potentially impaired boater to call authorities.

“Every waterway usually has some landmark, for instance Lake Cumberland it might be Beaver Creek or a certain creek name, might be Main Lake near Conley Bottom. There’s lots of ways you could get us a good description but it’s not as difficult as you might think.  We have our landmarks, even on the water,” says Fields.

And Fields says intoxicated boaters are easy to spot.

“Mostly it’s rules of the road violations, reckless operation is the biggest, obvious sign of alcohol use, throwing cans and bottles into the water.  Littering seems to be a good indicator for us,” says Fields.

Fields says officers will conduct boat inspections on Kentucky lakes and rivers next weekend during Operation Dry Water.  There were 14 boating fatalities in Kentucky last year.  Half were alcohol-related.