Boating Under the InfluenceFlorida sees plenty of boating traffic and takes its boating under the influence (BUI) laws seriously. The penalties for operating a boat with a blood alcohol content (BAC) that's over 0.08 percent are significant:
- A fine of between $500 and $1,000 for a first conviction
- A fine of between $1,000 and $2,000 for a second conviction
- Imprisonment of not more than six months for a first conviction
- Imprisonment of not more than nine months for a second conviction
Coast Guard Statistics on Drunk BoatingThe United States Coast Guard maintains highly detailed statistics as they relate to boating accidents throughout the country, and the State of Florida saw the highest number of total boating accidents – by a significant margin – every year from 2012 to 2016. Florida also saw the highest number of fatal boating accidents – again by a considerable margin – in those same years. The U.S. Coast Guard also finds that in fatal boating accidents, alcohol use is most prevalent contributing factor. In fact, where the primary cause is known, alcohol use is the primary cause of 15 percent of boating deaths. Ultimately, the Coast Guard determines that boating under the influence of alcohol increases the odds by 34 percent that a boating fatality will occur.
Drunk Boat OperatorsWhen it comes to bringing BUI charges, things are a bit more complicated than they are in DUI cases. While it's readily apparent who's in control of a car, this isn't always the case when it comes to a boat. The term “operate” refers to the person who's in charge of, in command of, or in actual physical control of the boat – even if the operator has stepped away from the steering wheel. When people take their boats out, they're often not simply driving a few miles from dinner to home. Instead, they're typically in it for the entire day. Boating is a journey that boaters commit to for long periods of time. This, coupled with the party atmosphere that surrounds fun on the water around ClearwaterBeach, means that boat operators are more likely to also spend the time that they're operating the boat enjoying alcoholic beverages – sometimes throughout the entire day. When you drive a car, you know very well that drinking and driving are a dangerous combination. Very few drivers drink and drive vehicles for the fun of it. Boating is a different story. Many boaters adopt the attitude that drinks and boats simply go together. This is a dangerous attitude. In fact, passengers on boats are more susceptible to incurring injuries in an accident. After all, they're not buckled in, and the impact of an accident can send them flying into the water, into the interior of the boat, or into the motor. When boaters captain their vessels, it's imperative that they take the job, and the lives of their passengers and crew, seriously. Not to do so endangers everyone on the water.
If You've Been Injured by a Drunk Boater, Consult With Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA in Clearwater TodayClearwater, Florida, is a boater's paradise. If you've been injured in a boating accident, however, it's a different story. The dedicated team at Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA in Clearwater, Florida, understands how traumatic and overwhelming these accidents can be, and we're here to help. Our experienced boat accident attorneys have the skill, knowledge, and determination to help prove that a drunk boater caused your injuries and help you recover just compensation. Please contact or call us at 727-451-6900 for a free consultation today. Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA 800 North Belcher Road Clearwater, FL 33765 (727) 451-6900 https://www.dolmanlaw.com/legal-services/maritime-law-attorneys/boating-accident/