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STATEWIDE — As we approach the Memorial Day weekend, conservation officers with the Indiana Dept. of Natural Resources are reminding you to stay safe if you plan on taking the boat out on a lake.

Capt. Jet Quillen with the DNR says Memorial Day weekend marks the beginning of summer for many Hoosiers who want to kick off the boating season in style, but he tells Indiana Outdoors that you need to do it safely.

“We can’t stop preaching about water safety. Wear your live jackets,” Quillen said. “Boat sober and enjoy yourselves and be safe around the water.”

Quillen said there is a common misconception about drinking and boating. He said if you are drunk and operating a boat out on any body of water that is the same as driving a car drunk.

“If you are over the limit while operating a boat .. it is the same penalty,” he said. “People need to realized that drunk boating is drunk driving.”

However, he does say that Indiana’s open container law does not apply to boats, meaning a passenger can have an open can of beer in a boat while it’s moving and not be penalized. But again, Quillen reminds you that if you are over the legal limit to drive you should not operate the boat.