LENIOR CITY, Tenn. (WATE) — Tennessee Wildlife officers are out in full force on the water for the long weekend as part of Operation Dry Water.

“It’s just an emphasis on addressing alcohol and boating,” Anthony Chitwood, a Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) officer said.

According to the American Boating Association, the July 4th weekend accounts for more than one third of all boating related accidents and fatalities, and the U.S. Coast Guard says alcohol is the leading contributor. Chitwood and other wildlife officers plan to pay even closer attention to those behind the wheel.

“We’ll keep on with what we’re doing right now,” Chitwood said. “Trying to be out, saturate, make as many contacts, talk to folks and be seen on the lakes.”

Alcohol is allowed on boats, but just like driving, steering a boat can’t be done at a .08 blood alcohol concentration.

“In our East Tennessee region, in about 21-22 counties, I’d say there was probably half a dozen or more people arrested last night,” Chitwood said, referring to July 2.

Throughout what’s left of the holiday weekend, Chitwood wants everyone to enjoy their time with friends and family, all while staying safe.

“From wearing a life jacket to just how you operate your boat. If you’re in a hurry, the lake is not the place to be,” Chitwood said.

Wildlife officers are also suggesting to check your boat before heading into the water, make sure all of your safety equipment is on board and be courteous to others on the water.