AUSTIN (KXAN) - The AustinPolice Department 's DWI Enforcement and Lake Patrol Units willbe working overtime this Memorial Day weekend to ensure safetyaround Austin's busiest lakes and roads.
In a statement issued Thursday, APD announced they will conductan initiative focusing on intoxicated boaters and drivers.
Starting Saturday at 2 p.m. until 4 a.m. the following day, DWIofficers will ride along with Lake Patrol officers to perform BWIinvestigations.
APD says they see a spike in intoxicated people driving motorvehicles in the water as well as on the roads on holiday weekendssuch as Memorial Day, increasing the amount of danger to otherdrivers and vacationers.
To further water safety, APD will prohibit the use and operationof personal watercraft, wet bikes, motorized surfboards and similardevices on Lake Austin beginning at sunset on Friday until sunriseon Tuesday.
Police said approximately half of the traffic fatalities in 2009were alcohol-related and that the goal of the initiaitive this yearis to celebrate Memorial Day without any fatal, alcohol-relatedaccidents.
Officials are urging everyone to practice safe boating anddriving this holiday and to call 911 for all emergencies as well asany reckless behaviors on the roads or in the waters.
For further information, the APD Lake Patrol Unit phone can bereached at (512) 329-8841.
To keep you and your children safe in and around water thissummer, Great WolfLodge offers some basic tips:
- Parents should actively participate in water activities with weak or non-swimming children. Most water-related accidents could be prevented by having a parent within arm’s length.
- Inflatable rafts, swim “floaties,” and other inflatable devices are not appropriate life-saving devices. Make sure young children and non-swimmers wear Coast Guard-approved life jackets and ensure the life jacket is fastened properly.
- Enroll children in swim lessons. These lessons teach the basics of water safety and awareness, and kids will learn a valuable life-skill while gaining confidence.
- Stay hydrated and be sure to take regular breaks out of the water to stay alert and avoid fatigue. This is especially important if it is hot or humid.
- Try to swim where there are trained lifeguards on duty. Lifeguards are trained to monitor the water and react to rescue situations, though it’s still important for parents to take responsibility for their children in the water. Lifeguards are not babysitters. Parents should also teach kids not to enter a pool without direct parental supervision.
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