Authorities cracking down on Memorial Day boat traffic


CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- With Summer quickly approaching, more and more Lowcountry boaters are getting ready to hit the water.

"The start of the boating season, we really want to get out there ... make people aware of what's going on on their own boats," U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer, Jason Miller said.

Miller says law enforcement agencies across the Lowcountry will be patrolling the waters this Memorial Day weekend.

"When we come onboard your boat, we are really there to make sure your being safe," Miller said. "Coast Guard recreational boating safety program is really all about education. We have the ability to issue fines, but that's really not the goal behind it."

That being said, the Coast Guard along with DNR will be watching out for signs of intoxicated boaters.

"We defiantly want to discourage any excessive drinking while on the boats. Boating under the influence is a big deal every year," Miller said "The first big three day weekend, people get out there, they get excited. There is always a lot of drinking going on."

But, Miller wants boaters to know that when authorities pull them over, it does not necessarily mean that they have done something wrong.

"Most of our boardings are completely random just to check to make sure you're being safe on the water."

Authorities also want to make sure{}boaters have everything{}they need before heading out on the water.

The Coast Guard says all boaters need to have life jackets that fit everyone onboard and a fire extinguisher.

They also recommend having a radio in case of emergency.

CLICK HERE for a full list of locations DNR will be holding Memorial Day weekend boat checks.