Blood-alcohol content drops to .08, nighttime speed limit of 30 mph applies to all state waterways; idle speed around emergency vessels are now state law


By Lake Sun staff

LAKE OF THE OZARKS - On what is traditionally one of the three busiest holidays every year, boaters on Lake of the Ozarks and elsewhere across the state will be subject to some new rules on the waterways.
According to the Missouri Water Patrol, effective Aug. 28:
• Missouri’s legal blood-alcohol content for operating a vessel will drop from .10 percent to .08 percent.
• Boats must come to an idle speed within 100 feet of an emergency vessel that is displaying flashing lights.
• The nighttime speed limit of 30 mph has been expanded to include all state waterways.
• A law making it illegal to obstruct the flow of traffic on the water was expanded to apply to all state waterways.
Capt. Matt Walz said .08 will definitely have an impact on Lake of the Ozarks.
He said officers will be out in full force over the holiday, educating boaters on the new boating while intoxicated rule that not only reduces the legal limit, but toughens up penalties.
Sobriety checkpoints are expected to be held in September. Locations were not announced.
While the opportunity is far from over, for some, Labor Day weekend is the last hurrah of the boating season, according to Water Patrol Sgt. Jerry Callahan. The patrol asks boaters to stay vigilant and practice safe boating.
“Remember the rivers and lakes will be more crowded than other weekends due to the three-day weekend. Slow down and be courteous to other boaters around you,” he said.
Contact this reporter at joycem@lakesunleader.com