Illinois Department of Natural Resources Conservation Police officers (CPOs) will be increasing their enforcement efforts on Illinois waters this Labor Day weekend, September 4th through the 7th. Illinois Conservation Police will be watching for boaters operating under the influence of alcohol or drugs. They will also be checking to make sure that proper safety equipment is present on boats, especially personal floatation devices (PFDs) or lifejackets.
Illinois boaters who are caught operating under the influence (OUI) face severe penalties. Under Illinois laws, operating under the influence (OUI) is a Class “A” misdemeanor for the first offense. It is punishable by a maximum of six months to one year in jail and/or up to $2,500 in fines.
According to IDNR Chief of Law Enforcement Rafael Gutierrez,” Accidents and fatalities on Illinois waters usually come down to a couple of things- people not wearing their life jackets or people who operate carelessly or recklessly… We cannot stress enough how important it is to wear your life jacket and to have a designated driver onboard.”