ALEA offers tips to stay safe and within the law while on the water this Memorial Day weekend

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FLORENCE, Ala. — Even during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency is expecting a large amount of people to be out on the water Memorial Day weekend. They know it’s all in good fun but they still want people to be safe.

ALEA Trooper Cody Farrar has information you need to know to stay safe and on the right side of the law.

“We would like to remind the public to check your safety equipment on your boat before departing,” said Farrar. “We would also like to remind everybody to not operate a boat under the influence of alcohol or drugs; make sure you’ve got a designated driver prepared ahead of time.”

Farrar said anyone caught operating a boat under the influence will face the same consequences as if they were driving on the road.

He also warned that boaters in possession of alcohol should be aware of what county they’re in. For many spots in the Shoals, depending on what part of the river you’re on, you could be in Lauderdale, Lawrence, or Colbert County. Farrar said boaters should check beforehand in areas where possession may be illegal.

As you head for the water, make sure there are enough life jackets for every person onboard. Children ages seven and under should always be wearing life jackets.

ALEA asked that anyone operating a boat not travel around other boaters to avoid congestion and for anyone boating at night to use navigational lights. They are also asking that individuals from different households observe the six feet of social distancing amid the COVID-19 pandemic.