New York, (WETM) — Alcohol use is the leading contributing factor in recreational boater deaths. Because of this, New York State will be height ning patrols for Operation Dry Water to Deter Boating Under the Influence this holiday weekend.

Over the course of the July 4th holiday, law enforcement agencies will work to increase public awareness of the dangers of boating under the influence for both operators and passengers and will be making arrests under a zero-tolerance approach.

“For the fourteenth year, officers will be on the water providing heightened enforcement against boating while impaired,” said Paul Littman, New York’s Boating Law Administrator. “This year’s Operation Dry Water campaign is intended to heighten public awareness and education over the Fourth of July weekend,” he said, “a holiday known for drinking and boating, and deadly incidents.”

Operation Dry Water is a year-round awareness and enforcement campaign but holds a national weekend intended for law enforcement agencies across the county to intensify efforts on preventing incidents related to impaired boating and to educate boaters about safe boating practices, including sober boating.

“The July 4th holiday is especially busy on New York waterways,” said Basil Seggos, Commissioner of New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. “While we want everyone to have an enjoyable time with family and friends this weekend, safety is paramount,” he said.

“To ensure everyone makes it off the water safely, it’s absolutely critical that boaters remember that it’s against the law to operate a vessel under the influence of alcohol or drugs,” Seggos said.

Last year’s patrols across the country involves over 7,500 officers, resulting in about 115,000 vessel stops and more than 42,000 citations and warnings, including 638 boating under the influence arrests.