ST. LOUIS, Mo. – Summer heat is here and more people will be swimming. What can we do to feel safer from a legal standpoint? There are a few laws that you need to know about.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol released a statement on water safety tips. They recommend wearing a life jacket, taking a friend with you, staying sober around water, and watching your kids.

Missouri state law requires life jackets for every single person on a boat. They must be Coast Guard-approved life jackets. They also require any child under seven to wear a life jacket unless in a closed area of the boat.

If you operate a boat while intoxicated or have high blood alcohol content, you could be charged with a Class B misdemeanor. If it resulted in personal injury it could be a felony.

What laws are there regarding drowning if a sign isn’t posted or there is no lifeguard? If a sign is posted that there is no lifeguard on duty then you swim at your own risk.

Property owners must warn of dangerous conditions if they own a pool or a water feature like a lake or a stream where someone may go swimming.

The second biggest cause of boating accidents is operator inexperience. So if you’re thinking about boating this summer you need to make sure you get the proper training to do so. If you are getting on a boat with someone make sure they are someone who practices safe boating and has proper training to do so.