MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – Boaters and beach goers were out in full force at Lake Tobesofkee this weekend and so was law enforcement. The Department of Natural Resources rangers were patrolling the waterways as a part of a national campaign called "Operation Dry Water".
"We're looking for violations involving the skiers and tubers and some of the more popular Fourth of July activities," said Corporal Robert Stillwell with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.
The program is steered at bringing awareness to the dangers of Boating Under the Influence (BUI). Last year, a total of 180 people were arrested on Georgia waterways for BUI. This year, conservation rangers have made 71 arrests so far.
One of the main problems, rangers notice is boaters don't know the rules and regulations. According to Stillwell, with new laws in place, it can get confusing. To prevent a ticket or a trip to jail, Stillwell said remember to treat the waterways the same way you would the roadways.
"The alcohol limit has changed," he said, "They were reduced from .01 now parallel to the D.U.I laws which is .08."
Another issue rangers run into is proper life vests, Stillwell said. By law, life vests are required to be on board and anyone under the age of 12 must wear one.
"That's one of those things, we definitely will be looking out for," he said.
DNR and local law enforcement plan to continue to campaign up until next weekend in order to make sure everyone has a safe Independence Day on water and on land.
For more information on "Operation Dry Water", click here.