Natural Resources Police remind boaters for Memorial Day weekend that drinking and boating do not mix.

The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control Division of Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police remind boaters for Memorial Day weekend that drinking and boating do not mix.

Boat operators with blood alcohol levels of .08 or higher risk facing charges for operating under the influence and put themselves and others at risk for injury. Marine patrols will be increased over the holiday weekend.

“Just like driving a road vehicle, operating a boat with a blood alcohol level of 0.08 percent or higher is in violation of Delaware and federal laws,” said Sgt. John McDerby of the Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police. “Boat operators found at or above the legal limit will find their voyage terminated, will be arrested and may have their vessel impounded. Boat operators under the influence also can face fines and potential jail time.”

Alcohol use is a leading contributing factor to fatal boating accidents according to statistics from the U.S. Coast Guard. 306 accidents in the U.S. in 2015 involved alcohol use and resulted in 122 deaths and 258 injuries.

Tips for boating safety include:

Exercise patience and courtesy at crowded boat ramps and docks. Observe all “Slow No Wake” areas. Maintain a lookout for and keep a safe distance from other vessels. Avoid traveling at unsafe speeds. Keep your speed down and use extra caution in congested areas. Make sure children 12 and younger are wearing life jackets while underway as required by law. Wear a life jacket and encourage all passengers 13 and older to wear them. Check navigation lights and turn them on at night. Carry Boating Education Cards and all required safety equipment appropriate for your size vessel.

Canoes, kayaks and paddleboards are considered vessels, and passengers are required to have a life jacket on board and carry a whistle or other sound-producing device. If out after sunset, a flashlight is required.

For information, visit 1.usa.gov/27U9WhA.