Boating is a popular pastime for many people who live here in Southern California. Spending the day on the water with family and friends and enjoying the good weather seems like a good way to spend some time away from work and daily responsibilities.
As part of these outings, many people drink alcohol. This may not be much of a problem unless the person driving the boat is drunk. Many people either don't know or don't remember that officials could arrest them for drinking and boating. Even though the possible criminal repercussions may be enough to keep you from drinking and boating, the safety issues and potential for serious injuries and fatalities make this activity incredibly dangerous.
How drinking affects the ability to drive a boat
Driving a boat is much like driving a land vehicle, but additional considerations make it an even more hazardous activity. For example, when driving your boat, you have to keep track of the tides, other boaters, objects under the water that you can't see, the weather, the currents and more. Keeping track of everything requires a great deal of attention. When impaired by alcohol, it becomes impossible to drive safely by creating the following effects:
- Reduced decision-making capabilities
- Slowing reflexes and reaction times
- Lowering inhibitions
- Causing sluggishness
- Causing sleepiness
- Disrupting balance
- Decreasing coordination
- Impairing the ability to process information
- Impairing memory and focus
- Increasing risk-taking
Even if you know your limit on land, it may not be the same on the water. The combination of sun and alcohol tends to make a person drunker faster. If you include alcohol in your boating excursions, make sure that someone remains sober in order to drive the boat.
You followed the rules, but someone else didn't
You understand the dangers of drinking and boating. You make sure you aren't impaired when on the water because you know you are in charge of the safety of those with you. Sadly, that doesn't mean that everyone else out on the water with you feels the same way. You could easily become the victim of a drunk boat driver. If that happens, you could suffer significant injuries and require a lengthy recovery.
In the aftermath of the accident, you will undoubtedly incur medical expenses, lost income and other damages that jeopardize your financial future. You may want to take the time to gain an understanding of your rights and legal options under the circumstances. You may find that filing a personal injury claim is your best course of action.