The U.S. Coast Guard reports that boating under the influence (BUI) just as dangerous as drunk driving – if not more. In fact, approximately one third of all recreational boating fatalities are the result of alcohol. There are several reasons for this. First, the marine environment tends to accelerate the effects of alcohol on the body. For example, wind, sun exposure, water spray, motion, and engine noise can easily contribute to one’s level of impairment.
Unfortunately, many boat operators underestimate the effects of alcohol on their system. Oftentimes, the amount of alcohol that it takes for a boat operator to become impaired is significantly less on water than it is on the land. Other factors (such as fatigue and dehydration) can contribute to intoxication as well. These factors may cause the boater’s judgment, coordination, and reflexes to decline at a faster rate than they normally would.
What are the effects of alcohol?
Alcohol affects the boater’s cognitive, physical, visual, and auditory abilities. Impairment can make it difficult for the boat operator to comprehend dangerous situations or react to them wisely. Impairment also inhibits the boat operator from balancing well, reacting quickly,, or coordinating his/her movements. Vision and hearing may be affected too. Sometimes, excessive alcohol creates the sensation of warm. If an intoxicated boater falls into cold water, he/she may not be able to exit the water before the effects of hypothermia set in.
Contact the Loewy Law Firm if you’ve been injured by an intoxicated boat operator. Boating under the influence is dangerous and unacceptable. Boaters can take simple steps to avoid impairment and unnecessary accidents/injuries. If you or a loved one has suffered in a boating accident, you may be entitled to financial compensation through a personal injury claim or lawsuit. Contact us today to see what our Austin boating accident attorney can do for you!