Troopers Looking Out for Drunk Boating over Holiday

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LAKE OZARK - State troopers increased their presence at the Lake of the Ozarks Thursday in anticipation of larger crowds during Fourth of July celebrations. 

Corporal Scott White with the Missouri State Highway Patrol said while he personally did not have to issue any boating-while-intoxicated tickets (BWIs) Thursday, he spent the day riding around the lake looking for signs of drunk boating.

"We look out for boats that get too close to the docks," he said. "That's usually a good sign that the captain may be intoxicated."

Drinking while operating a boat is allowed, provided boaters stay within the legal limit to operate a vehicle. The blood alcohol level (BAC) limit in Missouri is .08. 

White stressed the importance of staying alert while on the lake. 

"We really just want to remind people that when you're out on a lake and you're operating a boat, you really have to have a 360-degree awareness," White said. "You have to acknowledge that there's no center lines, there's no stop signs, no yield signs. You as the captain who's operating the boat have to really be attentive to what's going on around you."

At this time, White said troopers do not have an exact number of BWI tickets issued Thursday.