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DECATUR, Ala. – Labor Day marks the unofficial day of summer. Like most holiday weekends, there’s lots of traffic on the roads and on the water. The Morgan County Sheriff’s Office is encouraging people to finish out the summer season safely on the water.

“The number one thing we see is just something on the boat breaking; you know, a lot of people – it usually starts early in the season – they get the boat out for the first time, it was fine when they put it up, they didn’t really check it out, usually it’s mechanical issues is the number one thing we see,” said Mike Swafford, Morgan County Sheriff’s Office Public Information Officer.

Swafford said it’s important to continue to double-check boating equipment often. He said they’ve seen an increased number of boats and people out on the Tennessee River.

“We’ve just had larger numbers, and with larger numbers comes larger incidents with just about everything,” said Swafford.

According to the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency Marine Patrol, it’s illegal to boat under the influence.

The law states:
“No person shall drive or be in actual physical control of a vessel or manipulate any water skis, aquaplane, or any other marine transportation device while:

  • there is 0.08% or more by weight of alcohol in the blood.
  • under the influence of alcohol.
  • under the influence of a controlled substance.
  • under the combined influence of alcohol and a controlled substance.
  • under the influence of any substance which impairs the mental or physical faculties of the person.”

The Tennessee River runs through multiple different counties. It’s important to know that some of those are dry counties.