Warmer temperatures mean getting out on the water for many Floridians. Taking the boat out for a day of sunshine, relaxation and time with family and friends could be your idea of paradise. You might even have a few drinks just like many of the other boaters out on the water with you.
Boating creates a unique atmosphere when it comes to drinking. The sun, water and vibrations of the boat, among other things, actually accelerate and enhance the effects of alcohol. In addition, you don’t need a license to drive a boat as you do a street vehicle, so many people lack the appropriate experience to safely handle a boat sober, let alone drunk. The combination of these factors creates the perfect storm for an accident.
The effects of alcohol on boaters
When you drink, alcohol effects the following bodily systems and functions:
- Inner ear
- Warm sensation
With these systems compromised, anyone on your boat could easily fall into the water and drown. In addition, as would be the case on the road, your ability to operate your boat safely diminishes. As little as two drinks could put your blood alcohol content in the danger zone.
Avoiding the possibility of a BUI (boating under the influence)
Yes, boating under the influence is a real thing. The Coast Guard and state authorities that patrol the waterways can arrest you for BUI. Taking the following precautions could save you from an arrest:
- Drink something other than alcohol
- Dress to keep cool
- Avoid alcohol
If you do drink on the boat, wait to drive until after the effects have diminished. A safe guesstimate on waiting time is about an hour per drink.
I stayed sober, but the other guy didn’t
You did everything right, but still ended up in an accident with another boat. Without warning, your beautiful day on the water was shattered when another boat slammed into yours. You may have suffered serious injuries or lost a loved one in the accident. In the aftermath of the crash, the medical bills, lost income and other financial damages added up quickly — and could continue to do so, depending on the circumstances. You now find yourself in a precarious financial position.
You could turn to an attorney for help. He or she could explain your rights, review your situation and advise you regarding the next steps. The last thing you need right now is to deal with insurance companies and the courts. Allowing an attorney to advocate on your behalf could help ensure that you get the compensation you need and deserve.