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May 26, 2010

DNR courtesy boating inspections set during Memorial Day weekend

Beginning Memorial Day weekend and throughout the summer, law enforcement officers with the S.C. Department of Natural Resources will be patrolling the state's waterways and conducting courtesy boat inspections. S.C. Department of Natural Resources (DNR) officers will be focused on "saturation" patrols on lakes, rivers, reservoirs and coastal waters in an effort to reduce boating accidents, injuries and fatalities.

The courtesy inspections are being offered to ensure that all boaters have the required safetyInspection sign equipment on-board their vessel before they launch their boat. During these scheduled courtesy safety inspections, DNR officers will be available to talk with boaters and answer enforcement and safety questions.

With more than 400,000 registered boaters in South Carolina and increasing population density along coastal counties, it is extremely important the boater education be a priority before heading out on state waterways.

Courtesy watercraft inspections are scheduled for the following locations over the Memorial Day weekend:

For a listing of public boat landings, title and registration requirements, boating laws, regulations and safety tips, boating safety courses and information on how to obtain a free float plan form by contacting the DNR Boating Safety Office at 1-800-277-4301.

DNR encourages all boaters to use a designated driver in their boat, just like in an automobile. Don't risk it. It's extremely dangerous and against the law to operate a boat while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. On the water, the effects of alcohol or drugs are magnified by the elements of sun, wind and wave action. Alcohol also impairs coordination of arm and leg movements, slows response to emergency situations and makes it difficult for boat operators to scan the horizon. In South Carolina, any person involved in an accident that causes a death or serious injury faces an implied consent alcohol test and serious penalties with a maximum of 25 years imprisonment and up to a $25,000 fine.

South Carolina's natural resources are essential for economic development and contribute nearly $30 billion and 230,000 jobs to the state's economy. Find out why Life's Better Outdoors.

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