MADD & SD GF&P promoting the danger of boating & driving ATVs while impaired

WATERTOWN, S.D.(KXLG)- Mothers Against Drunk Driving is teaming up with the South Dakota Game, Fish, & Parks to promote safe boating and ATV seasons and to educate about the dangers of operating a boat, watercraft, and all-terrain vehicles while impaired by alcohol or other drugs.

According to the U.S. Coast Guard, alcohol is a leading known contributing factor in fatal boating incidents. Additionally, a boater is likely to become impaired more quickly than an automobile driver, and even moderate drinking can cause significant impairment on a boat. The lake environment – motion, vibration, engine noise, sun, wind, and spray – accelerate the impairing effect of alcohol. These stressors cause fatigue, making a boater’s coordination, judgment, and reaction time decline even faster when using alcohol.

Operating a boat with a blood alcohol content of .08 or higher is against federal law and most state laws.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety said about 111 ATV deaths were due to impaired drivers.

For more information on safety precautions for boaters and recreational vehicles, check out the article on

Mothers Against Drunk Driving and the Game, Fish, & Parks remind everyone to take the following safety precautions this summer:

For boaters: Take a boating safety course; boat responsibly on the water; wear a life jacket; attach the engine cut-off switch; get a free vessel safety check; never drink or use drugs and operate a boat.

For ATV’ers: Take an ATV safety course; always wear appropriate gear, such as helmets and goggles; never ride on paved roads except to cross safely; ride an ATV that’s right for your age; never carry a passenger on a single-rider ATV; supervise riders under the age of 16; and never drink or use drugs when operating an ATV.