Deputies go after drunken boaters over Labor Day weekend

It’s no secret that authorities go after drunk drivers over long holiday weekends such as Labor Day to try to prevent crashes. But they go after drunken boaters, too, and this holiday weekend was no exception.

In an effort to prevent fatal boat accidents, deputies worked long hours on Saturday during the busy boating rush. This year, deputies had arrested 50 drunken boaters in Central Florida. More was likely added to that tally before the weekend ended. During a busy holiday weekend, police typically interact with 100 boats in a day, according to reports.

WFTV reports that its crew took a ride with a sheriff’s office marine patrol. Police typically keep an eye out for boaters who are being inconsiderate or who are clearly driving recklessly. Deputies told the TV station that the thing that most prevents problems on a boat is just common sense and common courtesy.

Deputies have been targeting reckless boaters to prevent accidents such as one that occurred in Ponce Inlet last year. Two boats collided in that crash, which killed a 19-year-old woman, her unborn baby and her father. Authorities were said to be keeping an eye on the same area this year.

Deputies on the water typically work alone and work 12 to 14-hour days, according to WFTV’s website. They stop boaters for minor safety problems most often, but they can also target more serious offenders as well as drunken boaters.

Final figures of those arrested over the weekend have not yet been made available.

Source: WFTV, “Deputies patrol for drunken boaters over holiday weekend,” Sept. 3, 2011