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Boating And Alcohol Use

Boating And Alcohol Can Be A Deadly Mix

Boating and alcohol can be a deadly mix in California's waters. The motion, vibration, engine noise, sun, wind, and spray of being out in the water in San Diego can speed a drinker's impairment. This makes it difficult to coordinate, judge, and react to other boats, swimmers, and other obstacles.

In 2005, there were over 1.6 million hospitalizations and over 4 million emergency room visits for alcohol-related conditions. During summer, unintended accidents and injuries can happen more than we thing. This includes traffic injuries, falls, drowning, burns, firearm injuries, and head exhaustion.

Alcohol Use was also Associated with:

  • Nearly 50% Of all water recreation injuries for both teens and adults
  • 20% of all water recreation related deaths
  • Nearly 50% of pedestrian related deaths
  • 276 boating accidents in a recent one year period, which led to 124 deaths and 246 serious injuries

When people decide to drink and operate a boat, they can misjudge their physical abilities and judgment. As a result, you, your passengers, and other boaters out on the water are put at risk.

Effects of Alcohol on Boating

  • Diminished Coordination, Balance, and Physical Abilities
  • Impaired Attention and Judgment
  • Reduced Inhibitions, Increased Risk Taking
  • Impaired Vision Including
  • Reduced Depth Perception
  • Reduced Reaction Time
  • Aggression

In addition to this, warm weather can magnify the effects of alcohol and cause dehydration or head exhaustion.

The Legal Consequences

The State of California prohibits anyone from operating a vessel while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. Though the federal legal limit is .08% Blood Alcohol Contact (BAC), you can be charged with boating under the influence (BUI) at .05%.

Similar to a DUI, a BUI is a misdemeanor and could result in suspension or revocation of your driver's license, could carry a penalty of one year in the county jail, a fine not to exceed $1,000, or probation. The consequences are even steeper if it causes injury or wrongful death.

Tips

Alcohol is the leading contributing factor in fatal boating accidents. It is a leading factor in 17% of the reported deaths.

The State of California prohibits anyone from operating a vessel while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. Though the federal legal limit is .08% Blood Alcohol Contact (BAC), you can be charged with boating under the influence (BUI) at .05% because of the natural "stressors" that can accelerate the effects of alcohol.

Similar to a DUI, a BUI is a misdemeanor and could result in suspension or revocation of your driver's license, could carry a penalty of one year in the county jail, a fine not to exceed $1,000, or probation. The consequences are even steeper if it causes injury or wrongful death.

Though time is the only way to sober up, here are some tips of how to minimize the effects of alcohol. The Boat U.S. Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water recommend some ways to stay alert and avoid hazards on water if you decide to have a drink or two.

Ways to Minimize Effects of Alcohol

  • Eat before and while drinking.
  • Do not drink alcohol if you are on medication.
  • Use moderation and limit yourself to one drink or less per hour.
  • The more you drink, the longer it takes to sober up.
  • Remember that stress factors and fatigue lower your tolerance to alcohol
  • Be aware of the effects on alcohol.
  • If you are going to have more drinks, allow a non-drinker to operate the boat.
  • Remember, even drugs will have an adverse impact.

Though, the best decision is to not go boating. A responsible boated will refuse to let any intoxicated or impaired person take the helm. It is impractical to say, Don't Drink. So, if you are going to drink, drink in moderation and drink responsibly. This will help ensure the safety of you, your passengers, and others out on the water.

Contact a Boating Accident Attorney

If you or someone you love was injured in a recreational boating accident due to someone else's negligence, you are entitled to receive compensation that covers your medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, and pain and suffering. Remember, drinking while boating is against the California law and has steep consequence.

If an accident occurs, the State of California requires vessel operators to report the incident to the California Division of Boating and Waterways (CDBW). Our experienced San Diego boat accident attorneys at Jurewitz Law Group will make sure that you get the compensation you need and deserve. Call our office at (888) 233-5020.

Contact a San Diego Boating Accident Attorney

If you or someone you love was injured in a recreational boating accident due to someone else's negligence, you are entitled to receive compensation that covers your medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, and pain and suffering. Remember, drinking while boating is against the California law and has steep consequence.

If an accident occurs, the State of California requires vessel operators to report the incident to the California Department of Boating and Waterways (CDBW). Our experienced San Diego boat accident attorneys at Jurewitz Law Group will make sure that you get the compensation you need and deserve. Call our personal injury office at (888) 233-5020.


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San Diego Boating Accident Lawyer Disclaimer: The boat law or other legal information presented at this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice, nor the formation of a lawyer or attorney client relationship. Any results set forth herein are based upon the facts of that particular case and do not represent a promise or guarantee. Please contact a lawyer for a consultation on your particular legal matter. This web site is not intended to solicit clients for matters outside of the state of California.

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