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Media Contact: Kristen Everett, 512-389-8046, tpwd.news@tpwd.texas.gov [KE]

TPWD Website: http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us

TPWD News Release — Aug. 16, 2004

BWI Arrests Up Statewide as TPWD Readies for Labor Day Traffic

Extra! Read All Aboat It!

AUSTIN, Texas — So far this year, TPWD game wardens have arrested 231 people statewide for Boating While Intoxicated. Through the same time period (Aug. 9) of 2003, there were only 180 arrests.

TPWD wants to remind everyone that if they are caught drinking and operating a boat, and convicted, the penalties are the same as for DWI. The blood-alcohol limit is .08. And the myth about how everyone should refuse to be tested if pulled over — that one does not pay. Your driver’s license can be suspended if you refuse a blood-alcohol test.

However, it appears boating accidents, boating fatalities, and boating injuries are down this year so far compared to the same time in 2003.

"Although the 20 fatalities at this time is nearly half as many as the 39 Texas had thru early August in 2003, we still warn boaters to take every precaution to keep from becoming a fatality statistic," said Alfonso Campos, chief of marine enforcement at TPWD.

TPWD has made nearly 400,000 water-related contacts so far this year and Game Wardens are readying for the busy Labor Day weekend on the water.

When heading out to the water, remember don’t drink and boat, wear your lifejacket even if you are a good swimmer (you can’t swim if you are knocked out) and maintain a 50-foot distance when on personal watercrafts (jet skis).

Boating Safety Tips

Boating Facts

The most common water safety citations are issued are for:

Texas Boating Statistics
YearAccidentsInjuriesFatalities
199725822269
199825218753
199926218651
200025717355
200124219141
200224915361
200326417539

For more information, visit the Web (http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/boat/).

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