Boating under the influence? Yes, you heard right. BUI.
With warm weather approaching, the Gulf waters and many Florida lakes are packed with boats and other forms of water transportation. Boating while intoxicated can be just as deadly as driving and drinking.
Did you know? It is illegal to operate a boat while under the influence of alcohol or drugs in every state. The Coast Guard enforces a federal law that prohibits BUI. This law pertains to all water vessels, including canoes, rowboats and Ski Doos.
The use of alcohol is involved in about a third of all recreational boating fatalities.
The penalties for BUI can include: large fines, revocation of operator privileges and serious jail terms.
**If caught, authorities will tow the boat to shore and arrest those that have been boating under the influence.
Alcohol affects vision, balance, coordination and judgment. These impairments increase the likelihood of accidents afloat – for both passengers and boat operators. The U.S. Coast Guard data shows that in boating deaths involving alcohol use, over half the victims capsized their boats and/or fell overboard.
Alcohol is even more hazardous on the water than on land. The marine environment – motion, vibration, engine noise, sun, wind and spray – accelerates a drinker’s impairment. These stressors cause fatigue that makes a boat operator’s coordination, judgment and reaction time decline even faster when using alcohol.
Alcohol can also be more dangerous to boaters because boat operators are often less experienced and less confident on the water than on the highway. Recreational boaters don’t have the benefit of experiencing daily boat operation. In fact, boaters average only 110 hours on the water per year.
For more information visit: http://www.uscgboating.org/safety/boating_under_the_influence_initiatives.aspx or contact Blick Law Firm to learn more about Florida boating while drinking at 813-931-0840.