Drunken boating remains problem on Great Lakes

Coast Guard: Alcohol is leading cause of fatal boating accidents in Michigan

Published On: Aug 18 2013 11:59:16 AM EDT
DETROIT -

The U.S. Coast Guard says boating under the influence of alcohol or drugs remains a serious problem on the Great Lakes.

Personnel stationed on the lakes had issued 89 citations for drunken boating this year through Aug. 13.

That's up from 84 during the same period in 2012.

Read: New law would make drunk boating same as DUI

The Coast Guard's district office in Cleveland says the numbers are better than they were a decade ago. Even so, they're worried about an uptick in recent years, especially since it's likely that many violators are not being caught.

Read: Sheriff: Extremely drunk man crashes boat into seawall.

Alcohol is a leading cause of fatal boating accidents. Penalties for piloting a boat while drunk can reach $5,000.

Lt. Davy Connor says many people don't realize that a boat's rocking motion, engine vibration and noise can intensify the effects of alcohol.