Houston Police Department
HPD to Reel in Drunk Boaters This Memorial Day


The Houston Police Department wants to remind all who plan to enjoy festivities on the waterways during the upcoming Memorial Day holiday weekend and the summer to do so in a responsible manner and not drink and operate any form of watercraft. 
Boating while intoxicated (BWI) is the same law as for operating a vehicle on land.  A blood alcohol content of .08 or higher is considered legally intoxicated. 
The HPD Marine Unit will have extra patrols on the water for the Memorial Day weekend.  Officers will be making contact with as many boaters as possible to check for anyone drinking while operating a boat, as well as equipment and operational violations. 
Some additional key boating safety points are:  

  • Have enough personal floatation devices for everyone on board; and wear them. 
  • Children under 13 years of age must wear a personal floatation device at all times when the boat is moving. 
  • If you are going to drink, don’t drive.  Have a designated skipper for the boat. 
  • Personal watercraft need to obey the 50-foot rule and slow down to headway speed anytime they are within 50 feet of an object. 
  • Watch out for other boaters and slow down.  

HPD reminds everyone to act responsibly and avoid tragedies on our waterways. 
Media ride-alongs with HPD Marine Unit officers will be available on Friday (May 25), from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.  All media interested in participating should contact the HPD Public Affairs Office at 713-308-3280 by noon Thursday (May 24) for necessary background checks. 
VHS/JFC  5-21-12 

For additional information, please contact the HPD Public Affairs Division at 713-308-3200.