HOT SPRINGS, Ark. (KTHV)- The Garland County Sheriff's Department along with Arkansas Game & Fish and the Coast Guard are stepping up patrols on Arkansas waterways this weekend.
"We just want to make sure everyone makes it through the weekend safe without any kind of injuries or incidents," said Garland County Sheriff Marine Patrol Officer Ron Stone. "We're trying to make sure that they don't overload the boats and make sure they have plenty of life jackets for everybody on board and also that they fit the person that's holding the life jacket up."
Stone said he'll likely complete more than double the number of safety checks in an average weekend. "There's going to be probably an increase of 75 percent of the boats out here," he added. "As long as we're here 99 percent of the people are going to pay attention to what they're doing and do the right thing. There's going to be a few that's going to try and push the limit but that's what we're out here for."
The legal limit on the lake is .08, but a driver can be as young as 12 which is why Stone says there's no excuse to be drunk behind the wheel. "The water affects your alcohol a lot more because there's sun and you don't realize how much different it makes you behave," he said. "It does affect your ability to drive the boat."