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WKYT Reality Check: Drinking on Ky. waters


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MERCER COUNTY, Ky. (WKYT) - It's a little known Kentucky law that could affect your holiday plans. Did you know our state prohibits drinking alcohol in public places, including at lakes and on rivers?

Independence Day and the weekends surrounding it are considered on Kentucky lakes, the biggest, busiest times of year.

"It's gonna be slammed. Anything that floats will be on the water," Herrington Marina's Greg Richir told WKYT.

Expect to see adult beverages on the waters too. According to KRS 222.202, you're not allowed drink alcohol in public places. State waterways are considered public.

"People are always asking what the law is, and I tell them that I'm not certain myself, but I don't think you're allowed to," noted Richir, "it's not our responsibility to follow everybody around or anything like that."

When we talked to Fish and Wildlife about their upcoming Operation Dry Water, aimed at educating and enforcing rules, they compared drinking on a boat to drinking on the street. We were told no officer goes searching for alcohol on someone's boat, but they do arrest for disorderly, drunken behavior.

"I think as long as you're not the driver, you should be able to drink on the water," said Richir.

Operation Dry Water takes place this upcoming weekend. Last year, 101 officers participated. Together, they spoke with more than 3,800 boaters, issued more than 200 citations, and arrested 15 individuals for boating under the influence.


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