DNR steps up patrols for Fourth of July holiday

CHARLESTON COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - Many of you may be out on the water for the Fourth of July. So is law enforcement.

The Department of Natural Resources will be making sure you stay safe by keeping an eye on anyone doing anything illegal.

"Everybody will be all hands-on-deck. Everybody on my unit is off tomorrow, they're going to be on the water," Sgt. Huger McClellan with DNR said.

He said they're not taking the day off tomorrow, and will be out on the water making sure you're staying safe.

"We mainly out looking on these big weekends for boater safety violations," McClellan said.

DNR will be making sure you have all your safety equipment on board including your fire extinguisher, throw able flotation device, making sure your registration is current, and most importantly that there are flotation devices for everyone on board.

"A lot of people don't realize when you operate the vessel you're responsible for the vessel and everybody's safety on the vessel and you're responsible for your wake. So, that's a lot of responsibility that comes along with that," McClellan said.

When it comes to being responsible,  McClellan says the drinking limits are the same as if you were in a car – and it has to be under a .08 blood alcohol level.

"There's no lines telling you to be right there," McClellan said. "The tides change and winds change and wind directions and you have a lot to keep up with as the captain. So you really don't need to be impaired when you're behind the wheel of the vessel."

So if you are impaired, DNR urges you to get a designated boater.

"We're going to look for any type of safety violation. We're not out there to write tickets we're out there to make sure everyone is safe and try to prevent as many accidents as we can," McClellan said.

DNR will be holding free boat checks for the fourth.

  • Anderson County: Lake Hartwell - River Forks Boat Ramp, 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Clarendon County: Lake Marion - Alex Harvin Landing, 10 a.m. to noon
  • Greenwood County: Greenwood State Park- Lake Greenwood, 10 a.m. to noon
  • Lexington County: Lake Murray - Lake Murray Dam, 10 a.m. to noon
  • Marion County: Little Pee Dee - Galivants Ferry Landing, 10 a.m. to noon
  • Newberry County: Billy Dreher Island (tournament ramp), 10 a.m. to noon
  • Spartanburg County: Lake Bowen - main ramp, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

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