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Summer is in full effect – which means many will be turning to boating as a source of entertainment. Much like driving intoxicated, boating under the influence is both a hazardous and illegal activity. According to the U.S. Coast Guard, alcohol consumption is the number one cause of fatal recreational boating accidents each year. In fact, alcohol use trumps carelessness, incompetence, and excessive speed-related deaths. In all 50 states, a boater is considered legally intoxicated with a BAC of 0.08%; the same as drunk driving. If convicted, there are many court penalties and fines a boater will encounter.  If you ever find yourself in a boating accident you should contact an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as you seek medical treatment.

Alcohol is a depressant that affects the central nervous system. Excessive drinking by a boater can cause the following impairments:

  • Loss of balance and coordination.
  • Skewed depth perception and night vision.
  • Loss of self-control and judgement.
  • Slowed reaction time.

Many boating-related accidents are preventable. If you have been injured by a reckless boater, call the U.S. Coast Guard immediately. Also, it is critical to obtain reports and evidence punctually. You should gather the following:

  1. A police report
  2. The names and contact information of the other party (address and phone number)
  3. The names and contact information of any witnesses (address and phone number)
  4. The name and registration number or other identification number of the at-fault vessel
  5. Insurance company name and policy number of the at-fault vessel
  6. Photos of the accident

Boating under the influence is unfortunately a serious problem throughout the summer months. If you or a loved one has been injured due to a reckless or negligent boater, please contact the Virginia Admiralty Attorneys and Maritime Lawyers at Rutter Mills for a free consolation.