Boating is a fun and exciting form of recreation. However, it must be approached in a responsible manner if it everyone is to come through it unharmed. Nearly a third of boating accidents are the result of boating under the influence of alcohol. If you are an avid fan of going out on the water with friends, it is important to remember that boating under the influence (BUI) of alcohol is just as deadly as driving an automobile under the influence of such a substance. The penalties are also as severe. They include fines, the revocation of your boating license, and jail time.
The United States Coast Guard is the lead agency in waterway safety. They enforce BUI prohibition laws with the utmost severity and strictness. These laws apply to all boats, from smallest to largest, from unpowered to powered. The restrictions also apply to foreign-flagged vessels operating in U.S. waters.
Why Boating Under the Influence is Unsafe
Enjoying a day on the sea with friends tends to include alcohol. Though the distances between boats may seem significant enough for safe travel even in an inebriated state, this is just not the case. The fact is that when you are operating a boat you are subject to a range of forces, including sea, shoal, and wind. If you are operating a powered vessel, it puts under your command a large metal craft that moves at high speed. All such conditions can create danger if they are not managed properly.
Alcohol affects judgment, vision, and motor skills. You will not be able to assess situations and respond as fast as you need to if you have had too much to drink. In most instances, boat operators are less experienced on the water than they are on the road. If you are like most boaters, you will need extra time to think through unexpected events before taking a safe course of action.
In addition to the cognitive and physical impairment caused by alcohol, it also creates a sense of warmth. If you go for a dip in water that is too cold to swim in, you may suffer hypothermia before realizing this fact. Alcohol also disturbs inner ear balance, which will make it hard for you to determine up from down if you fall in the water.
Tips for Safe Boating
The first thing to recognize is the limits to your drinking. If you operate the boat, you should refrain from drinking. If you do, your blood alcohol concentration should not exceed the legal limit of your state.
Additional tips are as follows:
1. Take cool soft drinks
Alcohol is not the only kind of drink that can quench the thirst of you and your friends. You can bring cool sodas, water, iced tea, lemonade, and non-alcoholic beer onboard. This will allow everyone to keep safe while cooling themselves under the hot glaring sun that so often shines on the sea.
2. Take plenty of food and snacks
Lack of food leads to faster intoxication. You should ensure that everyone eats heartily as they drink. And no one should start drinking before they have had something to eat. Indeed, a boat is an ideal place to barbeque on a hot and sunny day!
3. Plan your trip to limit fatigue
If you are the sole operator of the boat, it is your responsibility to get people to and from shore safely. You will become tired quickly with the sun bearing down on you. That is why you should avoid coming back to port late at night. This is the time of maximum danger. You will not be as sharp as you need to be if you have spent all day on the water.
4. Drink responsibly
It is possible to drink if you are hosting an event on your boat. During the day you can dock or anchor in a safe place for lunch or dinner. You can then drink while having your meal. However, you should wait a reasonable amount of time before getting underway again.
If You Are the Victim of a BUI
You may follow all the rules and tips listed above. Others may not. If your day of fun on the water was ruined by another person operating their boat under the influence, if you have been injured in an accident caused by such a person, you should contact a personal injury lawyer in Newport Beach. Who are the best boat accident lawyers near me? That is the question you should ask if you have been harmed.
Boating accident lawyers Newport Beach have the experience to handle boating accidents involving alcohol. They know the law and can help you get fair compensation. Boating accident lawyers Newport Beach specialize in making reckless and irresponsible people pay for what they have done.
If the boating accident was bad enough, you will need to be hospitalized and treated before you can talk to a personal injury lawyer in Newport Beach. Once you are fit enough to have such a conversation, you should look at a list of Newport Beach boating accident attorneys. The thing to look for in Newport Beach boating accident attorneys is the total amount of money they have obtained for their clients.
If you have been the victim of BUI, the first question you should ask is who are the boat accident lawyers near me? This will lead you to the best lawyers to take your case.