Oakland County warns boaters to stay sober, Sheriff increases patrols July 4th weekend

The Oakland County Sheriff's Office will be taking part in Operation Dry Water, a national campaign designed to reduce drug and alcohol accidents and deaths on the water this summer.

Oakland County is a popular destination for water activities in the warmer months, from July 2nd to 4th Sheriff Michael Bouchard wants Michiganders to have fun safely. Additional deputies will be on the lake patrolling that weekend.

"We know the Fourth of July holiday is the focal point of summer for many families," Bouchard said. "We want everyone to enjoy the many things that make Oakland County such an attractive destination, but we want the holiday to be a safe one. No matter whether you're behind the wheel of a car or operating a boat, don't drink alcohol and drive. There is only a downside for taking this kind of risk. Protect yourself, your family and your friends.

Oakland County has nearly 500 navigable areas, and over 80,000 registered boats that will be in the lake this holiday weekend.

According to the National Coast Guard; alcohol use is the leading known contributing factor in fatal boating accidents.

The Sheriff's Office wants to avoid this possibility by asking boaters to use caution, and have additional officers ready to assist across the 19 lakes in the area.