Tag Archives: driving under the influence attorney

Florida’s Waterways and Boating Accidents

With Memorial Day approaching, many families will be vacationing, enjoying time at the beach, and making recreational use of Florida’s waterways. Florida’s waterways are amenities of the state that bring family and friends together in a perennially sunny climate. However, the abundance of waterway use in Florida coupled with a variety of water recreational activities can lead to serious incidents of personal injury.

Boating accidents are extremely dangerous and can lead to severe injuries, and even death. With close to a million vessels registered in the state, Florida leads the nation in the number of vessels, and, as a negative consequence has the highest number of boating fatalities annually. According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission, there were 742 reportable boating accidents and 67 boating related fatalities in 2011. Many of these deaths were caused by victims falling overboard and drowning, and a large number of them could have been prevented if the victims had worn life jackets.

While utilizing Florida’s water resources, it is important to always employ safety measures to prevent injuries. However, in the event of an injury it is important to contact a Tampa personal injury attorney to determine your rights to recovery, and determine who may be liable for your injuries.

If you or a loved has been injured in a boating accident, call Blick Law Firm today. Schedule a free 15-minute consultation with attorney Michael Blickensderfer by calling 813-931-0840. Think quick, call Blick!

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Florida Boating Laws

The waters of Florida are both a national and international resource alike, and recreational boating on these waters contributes to the well-being of both residents and visitors. As a result, boating laws are in place to protect the safety, aesthetics, and future of Florida’s waterways.

Florida law enforcement officers and Florida Wildlife officials patrol the waterways daily to ensure safety and compliance with boating laws. It is important while boating to be aware of the laws regulating waterway use, and be informed of what your responsibilities are.

By law, all watercraft operators are responsible for operating their vessel in a reasonable and prudent manner with regard for other vessel traffic, posted restrictions, the presence of a divers-down flag, and other circumstances so as not to endanger people or property. Non-compliance with the safety rules of the waterways can result in both non-criminal and criminal violations.

In Florida, laws against boating while impaired by alcohol or other drugs are as strict as those for driving a vehicle while impaired. Florida law prohibits anyone from boating under the influence (BUI). That is, it is illegal to operate any vessel or to manipulate any water skis, sailboard, or similar device while intoxicated due to alcohol or any combination of alcohol, a controlled substance, or drugs.

If you have been stopped while boating and need legal advice, call Blick Law Firm today. Schedule a free 15-minute appointment with attorney Michael Blickensderfer. Think quick, call Blick.

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Tips to avoid boating under the influence

Tips to avoid boating under the influence, according to the Boating Safety Resource Center of the U.S. Coast Guard.

* An alcoholic beverage is only to be consumed by those of the legal age of 21 and older.

Consider these alternatives to using alcohol while afloat:

  • Keep stock of plenty of water and non-alcoholic beverages for hydration.
  • Bring snacks and other food items to reinforce energy as needed.
  • Avoid fatigue. Limit your trip to a reasonable time. Drinking alcohol on the water may accelerate fatigue possibly resulting in an accident or injury.
  • Be cautious to party ashore, at the dock, boating club, etc. Allot drinking time to these and not behind the wheel of your boat.
  • Wait a reasonable time after drinking an alcoholic beverage before operating your boat.
  • Having no alcohol on board is the safest way to enjoy the water. Intoxicated passengers may be at risk of injury or falling overboard.
  • Spread the word. Boating under the influence is just as serious as drinking and driving, if not more. *A boat is still a vehicle.

Boating, fishing and other water sports are fun in their own right. These water sports are meant for enjoyment but may turn in the course of an accident, as a result of drinking alcohol.

Take these initiatives to follow for a safe and fun summer on the water. Do not drink and boat. If you however find yourself in this unfortunate accident, please give a Tampa boating accident attorney a call today to assist you in your claim. Call 813-931-0840 today!

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Florida boating under the influence (BUI) Part 1

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.

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