The 4th of July weekend is here, and if you're headed out to enjoy it at one of the area's state parks, then authorities are reminding you to do so responsibly.
The Illinois Department of Natural Resources Conservation Police plan to be out in force this weekend ensuring the local parks and waterways are as safe as possible. Officer Ray Wichus indicates the holiday weekends are always hectic times at the local parks and campgrounds...so much so that Conservation Officers will be putting in extra hours this weekend to crackdown on several offenses, especially alcohol related violations.
The crackdown on operating under the influence is not only taking place on land. With beautiful weather predicted this weekend, local waterways will be a popular holiday destination, and Officer Wichus notes that officers will also be on the lookout for alcohol-related boating offenses. He says the same rules involving driving under the influence are in place for boaters.
Wichus stresses the primary goal of the increased patrols is to ensure a safe holiday weekend. With that in mind, he also encourages anyone heading out on the water to be sure to have enough life jackets on board, and to give your equipment a good once over before hitting the water. Wichus stresses anyone under the age of 13 must be wearing a life jacket.
Conservation Police are also reminding the public that fireworks are not allowed in the state parks. They encourage everyone to have a safe and responsible weekend.