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Long Island's Suffolk County Steps Up Patrols on Water

by Kris Venezia
A A
Boat in the sea.
Paul Aloe, flickr

County Police Plans to Set Up with Checkpoints this Labor Day.

Boaters in Suffolk County may want to think twice about boozing on board.

Law enforcement in the area is stepping up patrols for Labor Day, and police will set up checkpoints on the water. On July Fourth, three children died in a boating accident in Oyster Bay. Edward Vitale, Executive Officer in the Suffolk County Police Marine Bureau, says people are more likely to make bad decisions on a holiday.

"It's [boating while intoxicated] always a dangerous situation. It's just that you have increased traffic, people who tend to indulge a little bit on the holidays, let their hair down so to speak; and that causes a problem for everyone," he said.

Vitale also says operating a boat intoxicated is even more dangerous than drinking and driving.

"The water is very unforgiving," he said, "When you are disabled or you have a problem with a vessel you are going to sink. You're not just going to pull to the side of the road to stop and gather your thoughts."

Suffolk County Police Commissioner Edward Webber says his department has made 15 boating while intoxicated arrest this year. That's more than the last three years combined.
 
 

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