Officials are making sure boaters have the proper equipment while they are out and they are also making sure people don't drink and boat.
RALEIGH, N.C. -
Memorial Day weekend marks the unofficial start of summer and many are spending it on the water.
With that, law enforcement officials want to make sure people are being safe. Officials are making sure boaters have the proper equipment while they are out and they are also making sure people don't drink and boat.
The "On The Road, On The Water, Don't Drink and Drive" campaign is a campaign that is taken very seriously by Brent Ward and other wild life enforcement officers. They will be riding the waves this weekend looking for offenders.
"It's very dangerous," Ward said. "One thing people don't realize, drinking and driving on a boat will catch up to you a little bit quicker than on the road. The stressors such as the sun beating down on you, the vibration of the boat, the wave action all of those take a toll on your body."
Boaters like Steven Catzenstein said seeing all the police presence gives him peace of mind.
"I think it's great that they are out here because, with the presence, hopefully they can make it a level playing field for everyone that's out on the boat with their families and friends," he said.
Crews will also perform random safety checks during their patrols. They will be looking for missing equipment like life vests and fire extinguishers. They will also be checking for fishing licenses.
Penalties for drinking while boating can include fines up to $250 and jail time.