Boating and beer (or whatever your alcohol of choice happens to be) seem to go hand-in-hand. There's just something about being on a lake or river with the breeze in your hair and the sun in your face that just seems better when you have a drink in your hand. Of course, you don't have to drink to have a good time but know that if you plan on getting your boat out and hitting the water this July 4th weekend, conservation officers with the Indiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will be looking to see if you've had one too many.

Indiana DNR Increasing Boating Patrols July 4th Weekend


We are fortunate to have a number of great waterways across the state to enjoy a day on the boat. From the Ohio River and Patoka Lake here in southern Indiana, to Lake Michigan and Tippecanoe Lake in the northern part of the state, there are plenty of options to drop your boat in and have some fun on the water. But, just like driving a vehicle, you can get in serious trouble if a conservation officer sees you having a little too much fun.

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Long holiday weekends, like this weekend, are popular for boaters and other water enthusiasts to get out and have a good time for a day or two. The DNR also knows it's a popular time for those participating in boating activities to load up a cooler full of drinks and party on the water which is why they're increasing patrols from July 2nd through the 4th during their "Operation Dry Water" campaign to make sure the good times don't go too far overboard (pun intended and I'm not sorry about it).

Of course, the officers aren't looking to ruin your good time. They want to ensure everyone has fun safely, and if you're getting too rowdy, or it's obvious you're having trouble controlling your boat and could be putting others at risk, they're going to stop you and do something about it.

Indiana Boating and Drinking Laws

Woman experiencing motion sickness while on a boat

Similar to drinking and driving, Indiana law "prohibits anyone from boating while intoxicated—that is, operating a motorboat or a PWC (personal watercraft) while intoxicated due to alcohol or drugs," according to Boat-Ed. Just like if you were to be pulled over in a car by a law enforcement officer if a conservation officer stops your boat and you register a blood-alcohol level of 0.08% or more, you are considered intoxicated in the eyes of the law which could result in you getting a ticket or being arrested.

Don't let this information scare you from hitting the water this weekend. Again, that's not the intent. Just make smart decisions so you can have a great time and get home safely when they day is done.

[Sources: Indiana DNR / Boat-Ed]

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