FWC on the lookout for drunk boaters on Lake Monroe



SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. - Thousands are expected to enjoy fireworks over Lake Monroe Friday night in Sanford and some of that crowd will take to the water to watch.

Channel 9’s Karla Ray rode along with Florida Fish and Wildlife officials as they worked to make sure the boats pulling in near the marina have the required equipment, and aren’t being operated by someone who is drunk.

Organizers are expecting at least 600 boats to pack the marina, so FWC was out in full force Friday to make sure those on the water are staying safe.

“It’s a great event and it’s fun to see, but we want to make sure people are enjoying it safely,” said Lt. Ben Eason, with FWC.

Eight officers were out looking for life jackets, checking lights and horns, to make sure boats are properly equipped while out on the water.

“Normally we’d have on a weekend probably four officers out, so we’ve doubled up,” Eason said.

During each check, officers are also watching out for drunk boaters.

According to state law, alcohol is OK in a boat, as long as the boat’s driver isn’t impaired.

“If they’re having trouble locating equipment or their speech is slurred and their eyes are glassy, that’s an indicator to us as law enforcement that they’re impaired,” Eason said.

Officials do expect to make arrests Friday night for BUI.