Alabama Authorities Encouraging Water Safety

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Montgomery, Alabama With the unofficial start of boating season kicking off this Memorial Day weekend, Alabama Marine Police are encouraging boaters and swimmers to obey the laws and avoid drinking while boating.

Lt. Jon Archer of the Alabama Marine Police tells The Montgomery Advertiser there were a total of 75 boating accidents across the state in 2012. Of those accidents, 13 involved alcohol, 45 people were injured and 17 people died. Two of those deaths involved drunken boat operators.

Marine police are on the lookout for drunken boaters and underage drinking because that's what causes the most problems and accidents.

In 2012, there were 90 BUI arrests in the state, which includes all the lakes and rivers and the Alabama coastline three miles offshore from the Mississippi to Florida state lines.