The Gallatin County Sheriff’s marine enforcement deputies will be patrolling Hebgen Lake August 5th, 14th, 19th, and September 4th and 7th. We will be doing our best to ensure people’s safety by looking for boat operators that are under the influence of drugs or alcohol (also known as BUI). Deputies will also be checking campgrounds and monitoring use activity around Hegben Lake during these patrols.
Gallatin County’s increased patrols will serve to educate the increased number of users on Hebgen Lake as well as provide an opportunity to inspect all vessels for the state required boating equipment.
A boat operator with blood alcohol content above the legal limit puts everyone on the water at risk of being involved in a boating accident. When impaired by alcohol or drugs, boating accidents are likely, and most are deadly for both passengers and boat operators, many of whom capsize their vessel or simply fall overboard. For this reason impaired boaters can expect penalties to be severe.
Sheriff Brian Gootkin reminds boaters that education and enforcement are key factors in staying safe on the water. We want boaters to enjoy themselves, however there will be zero tolerance for BUI. Please take a look at the State of Montana regulations at http://fwp.mt.gov/recreation/regulations/boating/