Florida is one of the busiest states in the country for boaters, thanks to its year-long warmth and its abundance of coastline.
However, this also means Florida is one of the deadliest states in the nation for boating accidents. In fact, 2020 saw more fatal boating accidents than the state had seen for at least a decade, due in large part to an increased incidence of boating under the influence of alcohol.
It is critical for boat operators to keep their wits about them at all times so they can be alert to potential hazards and changing conditions in the water. Boat passengers, operators, other boaters and anyone else in the water is at risk if the boat operator’s actions are influenced by alcohol.
Despite this, there is a culture that has built up around bringing alcohol out on boats. While it is fine for passengers to partake, operators must remain sober for the entirety of the excursion.
Here are a few specific tips regarding boating and alcohol from the U.S. Coast Guard.
- Pack your coolers with a variety of cool drinks that include non-alcoholic alternatives. Good choices include sodas, water, lemonade or iced tea.
- Consider preventing alcohol from getting on the boat at all to ensure there is no temptation or incentive for things to get out of hand.
- Limit the trip to a reasonable amount of time. Not only will this help avoid fatigue, but it will also minimize the opportunity for people aboard to become intoxicated.
- Make sure everyone who comes on board is aware of the dangers of BUI.
- Make sure people younger than a certain age have received their boating license before operating a boat.
For more information about avoiding BUI accidents and what to do if you’ve been injured by someone boating under the influence, contact an experienced Bradenton, FL personal injury lawyer at Goldman, Babboni, Fernandez & Walsh.