File Photo – Lake County Sheriff’s Office Marine Unit | Provided Photo

The Lake County Sheriff’s Office is joining a national effort to intensify education and enforcement against boating under the influence for the Fourth of July holiday.

The Lake County Sheriff’s Office said they are joining the annual Operation Dry Water campaign.

Operation Dry Water weekend runs from July 4-6 and marks a national effort dedicated to intensified recreational boater outreach, education and coordinated enforcement against boating under the influence.

The sheriff’s office said alcohol use continues to be the leading known contributing factor in recreational boater deaths and a leading contributor to boating incidents.

The mission of Operation Dry Water is to reduce the number of alcohol and drug-related incidents and fatalities on the water.

The sheriff’s office said they urge boaters to prioritize safety by choosing to boat sober throughout the year.

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The use of legal and illegal drugs impairs judgment and reaction time, posing significant risks while on the water, the sheriff’s office said.

Participating law enforcement agencies will work to identify and remove dangerous and impaired operators.

In 2023, law enforcement officers across the nation removed 717 impaired operators from the nation’s waterways during Operation Dry Water weekend.

The sheriff’s office emphasized the importance of boating sober, wearing a life jacket and being courteous to others on the water.

“The risk of serious injury is equal for both operators and passengers when alcohol is involved,” Lake County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Chief Christopher Covelli said.

“Additionally, alcohol consumption by passengers poses a danger regardless of the operator’s alcohol intake. Choose to always boat sober, to ensure everyone’s safety on our nation’s waterways,” Covelli said.

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