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NC troopers warn drinking and boating don't mix

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RALEIGH, NC (AP) -- Police in North Carolina want to see a reduction in the number of people who die because of drinking while boating.

The News & Observer of Raleigh reported Friday that check points are being set up near lakes and parks to screen for intoxicated boaters and drivers.

Highway Patrol Commander Michael Gilchrist says 30 percent of fatal boating accidents are alcohol-related, about the same percentage as traffic deaths.

It is legal for boat passengers and operators to consume beer and wine, but not liquor. The alcohol level for boaters is the same as for drivers - less than 0.08 percent.

Impaired boaters can be fined anywhere from $100 to $1,000.

North Carolina had 23 fatal boating accidents that killed 26 people last year. Seven of those incidents were alcohol related.

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Information from: The News & Observer, http://www.newsobserver.com

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

AP-NY-05-20-11 0838EDT

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