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Why is Drinking and Boating So Dangerous?


For many people, drinking cocktails or consuming a few beers goes hand in hand with a day on the water. Florida law does not prohibit passengers or even boat operators from consuming alcohol while they are on the many waterways in the state. However, operating a boat while intoxicated is against the law. Still, to keep everyone safe it is important that boat operators do not consume any alcohol. This is very dangerous behavior that causes some of the most severe injuries. Below, our Florida boat DUI accident lawyer outlines why this behavior is so dangerous.

Why is Drinking While Boating So Dangerous? 

Boating requires a great deal of focus, attention, skill, and experience. Even when a person is very comfortable handling and operating a boat, the consumption of alcohol can cause impairment and result in a crash. The main risk factors of drinking while boating are as follows:

  • Impaired coordination: Alcohol greatly impairs a person’s judgment, making it easier to lose control while operating a boat. Passengers are also at greater risk of falling overboard on a boat when they have been drinking.
  • Impaired vision: Consuming alcohol can also impair a person’s vision, which can make it difficult for boat operators to see other vessels or obstacles on the water.
  • Sensory impairment: When a person is intoxicated, it can also affect their sensory perception. This can make it difficult for boat operators to hear warnings from nearby vessels or passengers onboard.
  • Movements of the boat: When on a boat, there is a lot of swaying due to the motion of the waves and possible wake. This can increase the effects of alcohol, making a person impaired even if they otherwise would not be.
  • Extra sun: Being in the heat can also increase the effects of alcohol and when most people go boating, it is on a nice, sunny day. This can also cause them to become impaired faster than they would otherwise.

Boating DUIs Cause Very Serious Injury

 Just as impaired driving can cause a crash that results in very serious injuries, so too, can impaired boating. The most common of these include:

  • Lacerations,
  • Sprains and strains,
  • Broken bones,
  • Burns,
  • Traumatic brain injury,
  • Loss of limbs,
  • Spinal cord injuries, and
  • Drowning.

Boating safety should always be the priority on any watercraft to make sure that no one suffers any of the above injuries. It is also important that boat operators do not consume alcohol so they are not criminally charged and so they are not found liable for a crash after boating while intoxicated.

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