Texas Parks & Wildlife Rangers and Texas Game Wardens have some advice for us this Labor Day weekend: "If you're going to be out boating, don't be drinking." The wardens said they will be out in full force monitoring lake activity throughout the Lone Star State.

This year the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) is advising all boaters to exercise ALL basic safety precautions while on the water. Cody Jones, TPWD Assistant Commander for Marine Enforcement, reminds us that abusing alcohol and drugs while boating is the number one contributor to boating fatalities in Texas.

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This year there's been an extra push to have wardens join the United States Coast Guard and thousands of law enforcement officers in Texas on a heightened alert for violations as part of their push for "Boating Safety in Texas". Commander Jones said, "If you're operating a boat under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you're putting people at risk. Sadly we see holiday weekends ending in accidents and even fatalities due to unsafe boating practices."

Commander Jones continued, "The lack of life jackets or life vests being worn while on the boat is the biggest violation." The video below talks about the importance of life vests.

You can rest assured that Texas Game Wardens will be out in full force on lakes to help boaters get back to land safely. Statewide injuries and fatalities peak between spring break and Labor Day weekend. Jones added, “Please help us do our job by being prepared and making the right choices.”

Kimberly Sorensen, TPWD Boating Education Manager reminds us that "Texas State Law requires each occupant of a boat or paddle craft have access to a life jacket and children under 13 must wear one at all times while on the watercraft."

To learn more about boating safety, laws, and requirements, visit the TPWD website.

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