QC officials patrol the waters to crack down on boating while under the influence

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

ROCK ISLAND-- During the Fourth of July weekend many people are celebrating on and off land.

Dozens of boaters are expected to hit the Q-C waters of the Mississippi River as well as law enforcement.

As part of the National 'Operation Dry Water' both Illinois Conservation Police and Iowa DNR officials will keep an eye out on boaters operating under the influence.

"One of the most common accidents we have is alcohol related," says Illinois Sergeant Tony Petreikis.  According to the U.S Coast Guard, alcohol was a leading contributing factor of fatal boating accidents.

The goal of the operation is to do as much as possible to keep boaters safe but officers can only check so many.  A busy holiday weekend means checking  10 to 15 boats per patrol boat.

"On a busy day you’re gonna be more selective cause there is no way we can check every boat so what we’re gonna look for is boats with visible violations," says Petreikis.

Petreikis says it's also the boaters responsibility to remain alert and sober.

"Police yourself police the people on your boat. If you get on board with somebody that’s having a few... you know what maybe you should offer to be the designated driver," says Petreikis.

Operation Dry water was launched back in 2009 it runs June 30th-July 2nd. But both Iowa and Illinois will continue to patrol the waters for the festivities on the Fourth of July.