The United States Coast Guard is assisting states and counties in combatting the terrible practice of drunk boating, Yahoo News reports. The Coast Guard’s plan is to facilitate a five percent reduction in drunk-boating-related fatalities over the next three years. Over 120 people per year die in boating accidents in which alcohol was the principle factor; for nearly twenty years alcohol has been the number one contributing factor to boating accident deaths. The Coast Guard has been working for years to reduce this number; now it is providing individual states and local policing agencies with some additional tools to do so, one of which is a “seated sobriety test,” in which potentially-intoxicated boat drivers are tested for sobriety while sitting down (one official pointed out that the standard “walk-the-white-line” test does not do very well in the middle of a lake).
A number of states have taken additional steps to combat the dangerous practice. Some have reduced the legal limit one may drink while operating a boat; Georgia, for instance, recently lowered its B.A.C. limit to 0.08 percent. Illinois recently passed legislation that allows authorities to revoke a person’s driver’s license if he or she is convicted of drunken boat driving (Illinois passed the legislation after a tragic accident between an intoxicated boater and a ten-year-old child, which resulted in the child’s death).
Boating accidents can be serious and deadly incidents. Unlike car accidents, a boating accident takes place in a location that is fairly difficult to get out of: an injured victim of a boat crash cannot simply walk away, nor can emergency vehicles easily get to the victim. If you’ve been injured in a boating accident, you should consider talking with a personal injury attorney. Our boating injury lawyers have years of experience in handling boat injury cases; we know the potential dangers of jet skis, speedboats and other watercraft, and we know how to argue and gain legal compensation for those who are injured in such accidents. Additionally, you can follow this link to read about a $150,000 boating wreck settlement we secured for a client injured in a charter fishing boat accident.