Death Floats In Our Waterways
While taking the boat out for a spin or renting equipment while on vacation, feeling the wind and catching awesome views of the water is a great time to become one with the great outdoors. Boating is a popular activity that allows individuals to enjoy a fishing trip among buddies or permits loved ones to take pleasure in a family get-together. When it comes to staying safe on the water, many people dismiss alcohol consumption as a potential threat to ruin an entire trip.
Driving a boat while under the influence of alcohol threatens the safety of family and friends, as well as anyone on the water you may pass or come in contact with. The mental and motor skills of an individual in a drunken state are just as dangerous as driving on the open road. In this case, the vehicle in question is a boat and instead of the street, the "drunk driver" is navigating across public open waters. Just as drunk driving with an automobile is punishable by law, the same kinds of rules apply to boating.
When operating a boat (no matter how large or small it is) while impaired by alcohol is illegal. A variety of offenses are connected to the act, which can lead to fines, suspension of a license, and jail time. Convictions associated with operating a boat while drunk (even if it is the first time) can bring about heavy consequences. The sad truth is, many boaters are unaware of the potential danger they place their loved ones and others in when steering a boat while under the influence of liquor or beer.
Not only does the alcohol itself influence judgment and the senses, but also the surrounding elements. Drivers may become tired or the motion of the boat may cloud their decision-making. The sun and the wind may also affect their ability to operate a boat. When you mix wave action, sun glare, vibrations, noisy boat parts, and the overall effects of alcohol, navigating a boat becomes quite difficult. It is believed that at least 40% of all powerboat fatalities involve a person whose blood alcohol level exceeds the legal driving limit.
A Few Facts
Boating may seem like a relaxing activity while drinking, but the operator of a boat is twice as likely to become impaired by alcohol consumption - drink for drink - than someone who is having a good time in a crowded bar. It is the marine environment that intensifies the impairment of drinkers on a boat. Individuals with a blood alcohol level over .10% is estimated more likely to succumb to a boating accident than an operator with a zero blood alcohol concentration. More than 60% of all boating accidents are also said related to alcohol.
Boating and Drinking Tips
Before bringing along beer and other alcoholic drinks, you should ask yourself if it is worth the hassle since law enforcement agencies have increased BUI watchdogs, which could ultimately lead to losing your precious boat. While abstaining from drinking and boating is the best way to avoid alcohol-related boat accidents, there are a few tips to follow to lessen the chances of danger.
Instead of bringing along beer and wine, select refreshing beverages, such as soda, bottled water, ice tea, sparkling grape juice, and non-alcoholic drinks. When drinking alcohol, you should bring along plenty of food and snacks to reduce the effects that come from drinking on an empty stomach. Boating trip planning is key in order to avoid fatigue. Some individuals have also faired well when drinking on a boat that is still tied to the dock, pulled onto shore, or anchored.