Conservation police are patrolling the Illinois River

By Alex Wilson

May 25, 2014 Updated May 26, 2014 at 9:48 AM CDT

PEKIN, Ill. -- Two people have died in boating accidents this year. With boaters hitting the water for Memorial Day, police are out on the river making sure everyone is following the rules.

Wearable life jackets, fire extinguishers and horns are all necessary equipment when out on the Illinois River.

With the start of boating season, conservation police are making sure all boaters are following the guidelines, especially when it comes to drinking.

"Obviously our main emphasis working the river is apprehending intoxicated boaters," said Conservation Officer Dan Sandman.

The rules when drinking while operating a boat are no different than when driving a car, the maximum alcohol level is .08.

"Leave the bottle at home or at least designate a driver," said Sandman.

But drinking isn't the only concern while out on the water.

Police want to make sure boaters meet the necessary guidelines and if they don't, they will pay the price.

"We issue citations, much like speeding tickets they start at $120. Other violations are mandatory court appearances," said Sandman.

Sandman says while boaters may think police presence is an inconvenience, police say it's their way of keeping everyone safe.