Officers prepare for a busy Memorial Day on Lake Tuscaloosa

Caption: Lake Tuscaloosa. (Terri Brewer/WBRC)
Caption: Lake Tuscaloosa. (Terri Brewer/WBRC)

TUSCALOOSA COUNTY, AL (WBRC) - Many of Alabama's waterways will be busy Monday, with people off work for Memorial Day.

And in Tuscaloosa, officers with the Tuscaloosa Police Department Lake Patrol have some reminders for boaters before they hit the water.

TPD Lake Patrol Officer Charles Ballard reminds boaters that alcohol is not allowed to be present at all on Lake Tuscaloosa. For someone who may have consumed alcohol, the legal limit to operate a boat is a blood alcohol content of .08 percent, just like with operating a car in Alabama.

He reminds boaters that they must have a life jacket for every person onboard their boat, and children under age 8 must wear the life jacket at all times.

Ballard says it is important for boaters to obey the speed limit on the water. On Lake Tuscaloosa, the speed limit is 50 mph during the day and 35 mph at night.

He also tells boaters to be mindful of their surroundings, watching for swimmers and other boats.

"Pretend it's a two-lane highway," Ballard said. "Draw you an imaginary yellow line down the center of the lake. Stay to your right. And don't make any real quick turns, unless you look first and make sure it's clear."

To obtain a boating license in Alabama, you must be 12 years of age. However, you must be 14 years of age before you can operate the boat alone, without another licensed adult boater on board.

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