Law enforcement now have increased authority to combat boating under the influence

BURGIN, Ky. (WKYT) - If you plan to spend time on Kentucky waterways, you may be seeing more law enforcement on patrol.

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The increased enforcement comes as one Herrington Lake marina owner said this weekend is his busiest of the year.

"It wasn't supposed to open until November this year, but the [Kennedy Bridge] is open now and we get business from both sides of the lake and businesses has been great so far," Chimney Rock Marina owner Paul Barnes said.

A law signed in 2019 gives conservation officers added authority to crack down on boating under the influence.

"If there's an accident that has included personal injury or property damage, if we are not present but show up at the time, if we determine the operator of the boat was under the influence, we can go ahead and make the arrest on that. It's enough probable cause," Kentucky Department of Fish & Wildlife Officer Matthew Hartley said.

A person arrested for boating under the influence may be subject to 24 hours of detention for their first offense and 48 hours for a second offense.

Conservation officers will also be doing safety checks to make sure boaters are up to standard.

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