The arrival of a three-day Fourth of July holiday weekend, July 2-4, signals what generally is the busiest recreational boating weekend of the summer season and that means lots of law enforcement activity is expected on state waterways and roadways, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), Division of Watercraft.

“Our focus this July 4th holiday weekend remains on removing impaired boaters from our waterways and enforcement of all boating rules,” said Rodger Norcross, chief of the Division of Watercraft. “These efforts are shared among officers at the local, state and federal levels such as our marine patrol partners and U.S. Coast Guard.”

Boat operators are considered legally impaired by alcohol consumption if the blood alcohol content is .08 percent or higher, similar to Ohio’s motor vehicle laws. The Division of Watercraft says that reducing the number of alcohol-related boating accidents and fatalities is essential to further improving waterways safety.

The Division of Watercraft encourages boaters, which includes boat operators and their passengers:

  • To go boating only when sober and not impaired by alcohol or drugs;
  • To properly wear an approved life jacket or inflatable vest anytime while boating;
  • To keep a proper lookout and obey the boating “rules of the road”;
  • To avoid swimming or entering the water while impaired;
  • To avoid swimming or entering the water outside designated swim areas;
  • To be able to render assistance if an emergency arises; and
  • To follow all boating laws.

Boaters also should be made aware that temporary special precautions and site-specific waterway rules will be in place to safeguard boaters and others when fireworks displays occur.

The ODNR ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR Web site at www.ohiodnr.com.

Contact:
John Wisse, ODNR Division of Watercraft
614. 265. 6695
Jason Fallon, ODNR Office of Communications
614. 265. 6842

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