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Local game wardens on the lookout for drunk boaters

As many enjoy some fun under the sun during the summer season, the Texas Game Wardens are making their way into the waters to look out for the public's safety.

As many enjoy some fun under the sun this summer season, the Texas Game Wardens are making their way into the waters to look out for the public's safety.

CBS 4 rode along with Texas Game Warden, Ira Zuniga, as he patrolled the waters from Port Isabel to South Padre Island to monitor the area for impaired individuals.

"Statistics show that boating accidents, 50 percent of the time alcohol had a factor in it and 85 percent of the victims were not wearing a life jacket," Zuniga said.

Zuniga says the rules of the road apply on the water.

Those who violate regulations can be cited with a Class C Texas Parks and Wildlife misdemeanor, and if it is not taken care of, a warrant will be issued for their arrest.

A person that is arrested for boating while intoxicated can be jailed for up to 180 days and face fines up to $2,000, and can even get their driver's license suspended.

It is also required to have a life jacket for everyone on board, a fire extinguisher, a whistle or a horn. If you fail to have these on board, you can face of fine of up to $500.

Zuniga says during Fourth of July weekend, more people are expected to enjoy their time in the waters, which is why they will continue to patrol and recommends the public to be the designated driver.

"Have someone that's sober to drive your vessel, if you're going to drink," Zuniga said.

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