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Boaters warned to use "designated skipper"

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May 22, 2008

Dougherty County -- The unofficial start of boating season begins this weekend, with the Memorial Day holiday. Department of Natural Resource Rangers remind boaters that it is illegal to drink alcohol and operate a boat.

Rangers are getting some help getting out the word. Budweiser has billboards in South Georgia, reminding people to use designated drivers while on the water.  

 And Rangers say they will be on Georgia's waterways in full force this holiday weekend, looking for impaired boaters.

They say South Georgians have gotten the word in recent years. D.N.R. Corporal Robbie Griner said "We're starting to see a whole lot more designated drivers out here. So I would say the consumption of alcohol has decreased tremendously in the past several years."

Rangers say if they catch you operating a boat while drinking this weekend, they will take you to jail for Boating under the influence.

Rangers also urge boaters before they go out on the water for the first time this year to check their light system .  They say light failures are another leading factor in boat crashes.

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