JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) -With Independence Day landing on a Thursday, many people are taking an extended holiday break to hit the water.
However, members of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission want to remind people that while you’re celebrating your freedom, make sure you do so safely.
According to a news release issued by the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, the campaign Operation Dry Water will take place this weekend.
Wildlife and law enforcement officers are gearing up to increase enforcement in order to prevent tragedies that can occur when boating under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Not only does being caught boating under the influence carry a stiff fine, it’s also grounds for a person to lose their driver’s license.
According to the U.S. Guard’s Recreation Boating Statistics for 2017, alcohol use is the leading cause for fatal boat accidents.
The boating enforcement in 2018 resulted in 202 warnings and 103 citations. Those warnings and citations probably prevented serious accidents on the water or while driving home, officials said.
Operation Dry Water was first launched in 2009 by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators, in partnership with the U.S. Coast Guard and other federal, state and local law enforcement agencies.
Since it was first created, the campaign has helped removed 3,532 operators who were boating under the influence.
Operation Dry Water will take place July 5 through July 7.
The final message from officials is to have fun, be responsible and don’t drink and drive.