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Common citations on holiday weekends at the lake - KOAM TV 7

Common citations on holiday weekends at the lake

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As thousands of people head out to the lakes this Memorial Day weekend, the Grand River Dam Authority urges boaters to be smart and safe. 
The GRDA is ready to issue citations for anyone not following state boating laws.
For many, celebrating Memorial Day at the lake is a longtime tradition.
"We go to Dripping Springs and we tie up and we swim," said boater Lonnie Taber.  "We know several other people who have boats and we tie up with them."
But before hitting the waves, GRDA officials urge lake goers to brush up on state boating laws. 
They say having an identification card is a must.
"State law requires that you have some sort of identification, whether it be a boater safety card, or a driver's license to let them know that you are of legal age," said Lissa Brown, GRDA police officer.
Brown says officers will also be watching out for boaters who might have been drinking.
Having any beverage on the water with an alcohol content above 3.2 is illegal.
For some, drinking on board hits them harder than on land.
"The heat plays a factor, the lack of hydration other than alcohol plays a factor and a lot of people don't eat properly when they're out here," Brown said.
Officials also plan to crack down on life jacket safety.
All children under 12 years of age are required to wear a life vest on a moving boat.
"Other state laws require that you have a life jacket that is fitted for each person on the boat and that they are readily accessible, meaning you can't have them locked up in a compartment," Brown said.
No matter which county you are in out on the lake, officials say citations can range anywhere from $100 and up.
"It just really varies depending on the citation, number of citations and the county it occurs in," said Justin Alberty, GRDA Communications Director.
Due to the high amount of boat traffic, Alberty encourages boaters to drive with greater caution.
"Boating smart, safe and sober, watching out for the other guy, common sense on the water, giving right of way, things like that," he said.
With the enforcement of citations, lake goers say they feel Memorial Day is growing safer than years past.
"We used to come out here and do whatever we wanted," Taber said.  "We try to be more safe these days."
Officials also encourage boaters to bring a cell phone with them on the water for emergencies. 
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