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Criminal Justice & Legal System

Drunken boating remains problem on Great Lakes

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US Coast Guard
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TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) - The U.S. Coast Guard says boating under the influence of alcohol or drugs remains a serious problem on the Great Lakes.

Personnel stationed on the lakes had issued 89 citations for drunken boating this year through Aug. 13. That's up from 84 during the same period in 2012.

The Coast Guard's district office in Cleveland says the numbers are better than they were a decade ago. Even so, they're worried about an uptick in recent years, especially since it's likely that many violators are not being caught.

Alcohol is a leading cause of fatal boating accidents. Penalties for piloting a boat while drunk can reach $5,000.

Lt. Davy Connor says many people don't realize that a boat's rocking motion, engine vibration and noise can intensify the effects of alcohol.