Lexington, SC (WLTX) -- This holiday weekend, you can expect to see lots of activity on the lake.
"We do it now, there's less chance you can get a citation for not having the proper safety equipment when you're on the water," Officer Gilmore Stevens said.
Stevens with the DNR says boaters often make little mistakes that can cost big bucks.
"Some of our minimum citations start at $110 and the max could be $470," he said. "It's recommended that you get a courtesy boat inspection to be on the safe side. Even if you think you're OK, just to be safe."
Today, officers were at popular spots around the state offering courtesy boat inspections.
"We check life jackets, everybody on board must have a wearable life jacket and the life jacket must fit them properly.Then we look for fire extinguishers, sound making device, which can be a whistle, horn, or bell," Stevens said.
But, sometimes even the most safety-oriented boater can forget something.
"A lot of people tend to forget the type four throwables, square cushion, throw cushion, we call it, ring buoy. It's required for all boats," he said.
Safety equipment isn't the only thing DNR officers are looking for this weekend.
"Big holidays like this we tend to get a lot of boating under the influence," Stevens said. "You can drink, but if you have too much to drink where you get to the point where you can't operate a vessel safely, that's when you're considered being under the influence."
So far this year, officials have given out 20 boating under the influence citations.
But, the season isn't over yet. Last year, 40 boaters in total were cited for BUI.
To stay safe this weekend, Stevens urges folks to watch out for one another.
"It's a lot of people out swimming, tubing, wakeboarding, just be conscious of your surroundings, just keep a close look out of people in the water," he said. "Be safe and have a good time."
For more information on mandatory boating safety equipment check out www.dnr.sc.gov.