GUNTERSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - A patriotic weekend in the Tennessee Valley means lots of traffic on the waterways.
From inexperienced, to reckless, to teenage boaters, Alabama Highway Patrol has their troopers out in force to make sure the boaters are safe.
"We want to encourage [drivers] not to drink and drive and to wear their safety vest, that vest is as important as putting your seat belt on," said spokesman Curtis Summerville.
Don't drink. Wear your vest. Plus, with the high congestion expected, extra space should be left between your vessel and another.
Violations aren't taken lightly, troopers are ready to make arrests or write tickets.
"The cops aren't out here trying to ruin your time," said boater Shannon Jackson. "They're here to make sure you're going to get home safe and not endangering anyone else on the water."
Also expect inspections -- similar to traffic checkpoints, troopers will be checking for proper operating licenses, life vests, fire extinguishers, and other safety equipment for your vessel.