Police crackdown aimed at boaters under the influence

Police to crack down on intoxicated drivers and boaters

BERN TWP., Pa. - While authorities step up their efforts to take drunk drivers off the roads this Independence Day weekend, they're also working to take drunk boaters off the water.

Representatives of various state and local law enforcement agencies held a news conference at Blue Marsh Lake in Bern Twp., Berks Co., on Tuesday to announce their efforts to crack down on those who will be boating under the influence, or BUI, and stop the inherent dangers that go along with it.

"You factor in a hot day and some alcohol while you're out on the boat, what starts out as potentially an enjoyable afternoon on a holiday can turn into a tragic or fatal accident." said Sgt. Jeff Sabo, Pa. Fish and Boat Commission.

The threshold for someone driving under the influence -- a .08 blood alcohol level -- is the same for someone operating a boat under the influence, and the penalties are the same, officials said.

"It's something that we're actively patrolling for, and we'll actively prosecute. You're not only putting yourself in danger but obviously the other individuals that are out there trying to enjoy the holiday day or holiday weekend, as well."

The holiday enforcement period will run through July 7.

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