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Misconceptions about drinking while boating

People need to avoid alcohol when they get behind the wheel of any vehicle, including boats. According to data compiled by the United States Coast Guard, alcohol is a leading factor to fatalities experienced while on a boat. 

Unfortunately, drinking while boating is a popular activity for many people around Georgia. Heading out on the lake while drinking some beers is a common pastime. These people do not see the harm, but there are various myths surrounding the practice, and at the end of the day, it is best to avoid it. 

Myth #1: Boat operators do not have to worry about arrest

Police cruisers are easily noticeable on roadways, but people on boats assume it is safe to drink because the cops are not around. However, law enforcement frequently shows up to lakes and coasts. It may not necessarily be the police, but members of the Coast Guard as well as fish and game wardens can issue citations, too. Penalties include loss of driving privileges, fines and jail time. 

Myth #2: Boats are meant for recreation

Most people use boats to host parties, go fishing or simply lounge out in the sun. However, boats are still motor vehicles that are dangerous in the wrong hands. It is important to remember that boats are not toys. While other people may be able to get away with drinking on a boat, the operator needs to remain fully sober at all times. 

Myth #3: Drinking while boating is not dangerous

It seems fairly safe to take a boat out on the open water when there really are not that many other boats. In actuality, boat operators need to account for a number of additional factors, such as the water depth and the direction of waves. There are generally no signs or lanes to tell boat operators what to do, so they need to remain cognizant of the area all the time. 

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