Everyone knows that drinking and driving don't mix, buy there are several other ways to endanger yourself and others when you use alcohol. Drinking and operating almost anything is risky, whether it be a bicycle, a boat or even a horse. Since boating is closely associated with recreation, time-off and relaxation, it presents a common, but dangerous, opportunity to cause harm and to get arrested. Read on to learn more about the risks of drunk boating.
In the News
Back in September of 2016, everyone was shocked to hear about the death of the Miami Marlin's star pitcher Jose Fernandez while boating. Among the occupants of the boat that day were several others, and two of those were also killed. Who was piloting the boat at the time of crash is unclear, but autopsies revealed that all three killed also had cocaine and alcohol in their systems that day. Results showed that Hernandez was legally drunk at the time of the crash, which has prompted at least two wrongful death lawsuits against the Hernandez estate.
Making Boaters More Aware
The National Association of State Boating Law Administrators has joined forces with the Coast Guard to help bring awareness to this issue. Many people are not even aware that drinking and boating is not only dangerous, but against the law. Operation Dry Water puts the media to use with advertisements drawing attention to the dangers, and the consequences, of boating while intoxicated. Together with the campaign to bring attention to this matter is stepped-up enforcement on most bodies of water.
It's easy to imagine how most boating accidents happen, given that water presents what's akin to the open road, with fewer rules and less other vehicles to worry about. Just as those using the road when impaired, however, boaters who are under the influence can misjudge speed and distance to objects and fail to see others sharing the road, or waterway.
Dealing with the Damages
The consequences of drunk boating can be both criminal and civil. The boating operator can be arrested for boating while impaired and can face fines, jail and penalties that rival or even exceed those of drunk drivers. In some states, the boater can lose the right to drive their boat and their vehicles.
Civil consequences concern money damages, and if you or a loved one has been impacted by the actions of a drunk boater you are entitled to compensation. If the worst has happened, and the actions of a careless and impaired boater cause a death in your family, you may also sue for wrongful death. Speak to a personal injury attorney right away to get what you deserve.Share