Houston Police Department
Help Us, Help You Keep Our Waterways Safe

August 14, 2014 - The Houston Police Department wants to remind all who plan to enjoy festivities on the waterways, especially during the upcoming Labor Day holiday weekend, 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 operating a vehicle on land. A blood alcohol content of .08 or higher is considered legally intoxicated.

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The HPD Marine Unit will have extra patrols on the water for the Labor 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.

You can watch Senior Police Officer A. Steelman of the HPD Marine Unit discuss key boating safety points and interact with boaters on the HPD YouTube Channel athttp://youtu.be/KzakipXF7LA

Boating safety tips include:
  • Take a certified boater safety course before operating or purchasing a boat.
  • Have enough personal flotation devices for everyone on board; and wear them.
  • Children under 13 years of age must wear a personal flotation 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 within 50 feet of an object.
  • Watch out for other boaters, and slow down.

HPD reminds everyone to Help Us, Help You in spreading the message to act responsibly and avoid tragedies on our waterways. For more information on certified boater safety classes throughout Texas, go to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Division's link athttp://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/learning/boater_education/bedcity.phtml

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