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TPWD News Release — May 31, 2005

Boating Season Kicks Off With Warning About Boating While Drunk

Extra! Read All Aboat It!

UNDATED — With the arrival of National Safe Boating Week (May 21-27), Boating While Intoxicated arrests are up statewide. Statewide, there were 193 BWI arrests in 2003 and in 2004, there were 279.

A reminder: a law that took effect in 2001 includes suspension of an automobile driver’s license for failing to submit to alcohol testing when suspected of operating a vessel while intoxicated. This applies to watercrafts of 50 horsepower or more.

“Texas is different from many other states in that we have a year-round boating season. We also have more inland water than any of the 48 continental states. We have a coastline and all the activity there as well. We also have one of the highest number of registered boats in the nation. We just have a lot of activity. With all this in mind, we feel like overall, boating is a safe activity in Texas, but boaters should learn and follow basic safety tips,” said Willie Gonzalez, assistant chief of marine enforcement at TPWD.

There are about 623,000 boats registered in Texas.

Game wardens will be conducting media ride-alongs all summer. For more information, contact your local game warden office. Also, TPWD boater education courses are available in a traditional classroom setting, online and through a home video course. Call (800) 792-1112 for more details.

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