MIAMI BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) – In order to ensure the safety of South Florida residents and tourists this Fourth of July weekend, law enforcement agencies are out in full force.

While the holiday weekend calls for fun in the sun, officials urge those planning on hitting the beaches to celebrate responsibly. “FWC last year, along with its maritime partners, arrested 326 B.U.I. boaters in the state of Florida,” said Lorenzo Veloz of Florida Fish & Wildlife. “FWC’s mission this year is to eliminate those numbers.”

Random safety checks will be conducted throughout South Florida waters to make sure there are life jackets for those on board, along with other safety equipment. “We will be enforcing a 15-knot max speed limit in Biscayne Bay from 7 p.m. to Midnight on the Fourth of July,” said an official.

If you plan on swimming in the ocean or boating, keep a look out for warning flags flying. “Think of a traffic light: red means stop, yellow means caution and green means go,” said Miami Beach Ocean Rescue Lt. Gerry Falconer. “Also, we have a flag that designates marine life in the water such as jelly fish, and that’s a purple flag.”

Another great safety tip to keep in mind is to always locate the nearest lifeguard to you when at the beach or at a public pool.

Officials also urge those planning on driving motor or water vehicles to stay away from the booze. “Alcohol and water don’t mix,” added Falconer. “Enjoy your day, enjoy your time, but the alcohol in the sun and in the surf really isn’t a positive.”

And with thousands expected to travel on our roads and highways this holiday weekend, the Florida Highway Patrol advises people to drive responsibly. “Wear your seatbelt, pay attention to speedometers, don’t be distracted while you are driving, and of course, don’t drink and drive,” said Mark Wysocky of the Florida Highway Patrol.

Have a great Fourth of July Weekend, South Florida!

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