FWC Cracking down on boating while drinking

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Engines revving up, we set sail off from Xalvis Island.

FCN was on patrol with Lieutenant John Conboy, of Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission law enforcement.

"I'm sure we'll get one," Lt. Conboy said as the journey on the river began.

Law enforcement is keeping an eye out for something specific on the Ft. George river.

"Look out for people operating carelessly," Lt. Conboy explained. "Make sure people have their safety equipment. And also look for people who are boating under the influence."

Conboy said you can have alcohol on a boat, but the operator can't be under the influence.

On Saturday, they arrested four people for boating while under the influence. Penalties are stiff. Conboy said you could face jail time and a fine up to $1,000 for your first time.

"The same as driving while under the influence in a car," he said. "You still have misdemeanor fines at a minimum. You could lose your privilege to operate a boat if you refuse to take a breath test."

FCN was there as authorities did safety inspections on several boats.

Risher Smith and his friends were one of them. Smith said he always follows the rules.

FCN asked Smith if he passed the test, to which he replied

"We did. We had a life jacket for everybody on board. So, all good," Smith said.

The patrol continued. When you're out on the water, Lt. Conboy said there are a couple things to know that could save your life.

"Basically, if it's a congested area, slow down," he explained. "Use caution while you're operating a boat and don't drink and drive."

For more information about boating regulations and other resources from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission,

click here


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