AS holiday approaches, CDC warns about alcohol use near water

Friday, May 25th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

ATLANTA (AP) _ A study of more than 100 drownings in Louisiana in 1998 found that about 60 percent of the teen-age and adult victims tested positive for alcohol and drugs, the government said Thursday.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued the study just days before the traditional Memorial Day start of summer. The CDC said alcohol is a major factor in drownings nationwide, particularly at holidays.

``The majority of drownings could be prevented if people would not drink alcohol,'' said Megan Davies, a CDC epidemiologist. ``Enjoy your time on the water _ then get home, and that's when you have your beer or glass of wine.''

The study also found that none of the victims of boat-related drownings in Louisiana were wearing life jackets or other flotation devices.

The drowning rate in Lousiana was more than 50 percent higher than the national average.