Boozing, boating don’t mix

Published 5:15pm Tuesday, May 28, 2013

On a pontoon, making waves and catchin’ rays up on the roof — who wouldn’t jump at the thought of lounging around and not doing anything but soaking up sun, mingling with other boaters and maybe some recreational skiing here and there. Blasting the song “Pontoon” by Little Big town on the river this summer makes some Selmians all but show up to their day jobs with sunscreen already on, so that boating can happen on a lunch break.

But also synonymous with floating in inner tubes for hours and boating around the Alabama River is the idea of cooling off by reaching into the cooler on the boat for a cold one.

But we want to encourage boaters to think twice before drinking and operating their boats.

Too much is at risk on the river to mix alcohol consumption with driving a boat. The Alabama Marine Police said they are reminding all those who frequent rivers in the summer that it is illegal to be in physical control of any vessel (that means jet skiis too) when under the influence of alcohol. Those who violate this law are looking at anywhere from a $600 to $2,100 fine for a first offense. Second time offenders are in way deeper.

But the fines shouldn’t matter. The safety of others on the waterway should be the biggest deterrent from boozing and boating. Children are bobbing in the water. Families are spending their weekends out on the river.

Please do not put others in harms way, especially children, with drinking this summer.

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