LAKE TYLER, TX (KLTV) - East Texas game wardens are pulling double-duty this Labor Day as dove hunting starts and boaters hit the lakes.
"Everybody just grab one, hold up one, that would be easiest," said Chris Green, a Texas Parks and Wildlife Game Warden, as he asked boaters to show him their life jackets. This is his second location of the day. "We have a dual role this holiday because dove season has started."
It's a busy time for Green as one season begins and another comes to an end. "I think tomorrow [Monday] is going to be the big day. It's going to be the last day for a lot of people. Most people start winterizing their boats after Labor Day," said Green.
As boaters take advantage of the long weekend, Green said water traffic increases. The Game Warden's actions prove that law enforcement is ready to crack down. "You need to put TX in front of those numbers on each side," said Green to a boat he stopped.
The Game Warden says the most important water safety item on his checklist is a life jacket. "We make sure everybody has a life jacket. One that is not torn or tattered. One that fits, it's secure. We don't want a child in a large, adult-size life jacket because they are going to slip right out of it," said Green. Kids under 13 must wear a life jacket at all times when a boat is in motion.
"We are going to check them with field sobriety in the boat and some standard field sobriety on the shore line if we suspect they are intoxicated," said Green. He hopes this weekend follows this summer's trend. Green said fewer boating violations were handed out than previous years.
As people travel home Monday, DPS officers will be keeping close watch of the roads. Last year on labor day weekend, troopers issued nearly 25,000 citations to promote safe driving.