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Enjoying Alcohol on the Water Responsibly

JOHNSON COUNTY (CBS2/FOX28) – There are plenty of ways to spend the four-day weekend in a place that’s a little cooler than the backyard.

“When my dad throws me into the water, I’m like, ‘Whoa! I wasn’t expecting that!” said 8-year-old Christian Collins.

“People are really getting out here and excited to be out on the water,” said Coralville Marina’s Ben Patience.

That means local rivers and lakes can get a bit crowded.

It also means local law enforcement officials are looking out for people who are drinking while operating their boat.

“If you see a large number of people on their boat, everybody’s in possession of alcohol. If they’re doing donuts, if they’re whooping and hollering, that sort of stuff is what we’re looking for,” said Iowa Conservation Officer Nate Johnson.

It might seem obvious, and yet more people were arrested for boating under the influence last year than in 2011.

“That was because we had a very hot, dry summer. So there was a lot of people gravitating towards the waterways in the state,” said Johnson. “Along with that, they take alcohol with them.”

Mixing those two things, heat and alcohol, is generally what causes the most problems.

The sun can easily make a boater dehydrated, “so when you add alcohol on top of that it can actually impact people before they would hit that limit.

The best bet is just like when you go out on dry land. Designate a boat operator who won’t drink, so everyone can stay safe.
 
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