JAMES CITY COUNTY, Va. - The Fourth of July brings many residents on the water.
Officials say with an increased public presence on the water, there is also an increase in the number of boating incidents and fatalities during this time.
From July 2-4, the James City County Police Department, in partnership with the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) and the U.S. Coast Guard, will participate in the national Operation Dry Water heightened awareness and enforcement weekend.
Law enforcement agencies from across the country will focus on educating boaters about safe boating practices, including sober boating.
Alcohol use is the leading known contributing factor in recreational boater deaths.
During the holiday weekend, boaters will notice an overall increase in officer patrols on the water and at recreational boating checkpoints.
Operating a boat under the influence of drugs or alcohol is illegal and can lead to serious injuries, death, property damage and legal consequences. Police reminds boaters to always boat sober and to wear a life jacket when on or around the water.
Operation Dry Water is a year-round boating under the influence awareness and enforcement campaign with the mission of reducing the number of alcohol and drug related incidents and fatalities through increased recreational boater awareness and by fostering a stronger and more visible deterrent to alcohol and drug use on the water.