With summer drawing near, millions of people head to the Nation's waterways for fun in the sun. Taking out the boat is a national pastime, and everyone expects to have a good time doing so. Along with the pleasure, however, comes a certain risk. Nearly half of all boating accidents and fatalities involve the use of alcohol. Drinking and boating just don't mix and the results can be deadly. Dehydration can occur quickly as the perspiration drys the body fluids but leaves the alcohol, the effects of the sun, the noise of the engine, vibrations of the boat and the constant motion can throw off the boater's vision, balance and decision making capabilities.
Driving a boat while intoxicated is the same as driving under the influence and in most states, it carries the same penalties such as fines, loss of license, impoundment of the boat or possible prison time if you are involved in an accident involving injury or a fatality. If you are involved in a boating accident, you need an attorney who is well versed in the boating laws as pertains to your state and has triumphed in similar cases to represent you.
As in any accident, do not leave the scene, exchange pertinent information and make your statements precise and to the point without admitting fault to anyone. Even if the accident is not your fault, in the case of alcohol it can lead to strict liability, meaning even though it wasn't your fault in a factual sense, from a legal sense, liability will be applied. In states that don't use strict liability, it can still be seen as a contributing factor for purposes of liability. This is where your attorney comes in to navigate these tricky waters for you.