Drunk Driving on the Water

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By this point, most people are well aware of the dangers of driving a car while under the influence. Drunk driving results in thousands of deaths every year across the country and most states and towns have cracked down on it, with significant sentencing requirements for people who get a DUI. Checkpoints and other types of proactive policing are an accepted part of community attempts to keep people safe.

People are significantly less aware of the dangers of operating a boat while under the influence. Many people think of boating strictly as a leisure activity, and will mix and match alcohol with operating a boat when they wouldn’t operate a car under the same circumstances. But boats can be just as dangerous as cars. In fact, boats offer uniquely dangerous scenarios that cars do not.

A terrible accident in Vinton, Louisiana should serve as a grim reminder of the dangers of drinking and driving a boat. An 8-year-old Texas boy was killed on August 21st, 2017 while riding in an inflatable tube being towed by a boat. Another child was injured. The driver of the boat, who was intoxicated, is under arrest for vehicular manslaughter.

Many people take part in watersports such as kneeboarding, wakeboarding, water skiing, and tubing. Careful steering of the boat is of absolute importance to keep these activities safe. Even a few beers are enough to dull a person’s reflexes and leave them unable to respond rapidly to changing conditions, such as wakes from other watercraft or drifting too close to shore.

If you or someone you love has been injured in a boating accident, and you suspect alcohol was a factor, a full investigation might be necessary to determine whether or not the operator of the vehicle was impaired. Please, contact an experienced attorney to get your case evaluated.