It’s summer time and like every year, the boat traffic in Virginia Beach, Virginia (VA) increases exponentially. Unfortunately, so do the incidences of BUI (i.e. Boating Under the Influence). The Coast Guard recently executed Operation Dry Water Weekend from June 26 to June 28 to look for boaters under the influence of alcohol, according to Virginia.gov.
Why is Virginia (VA) making such a big deal about drinking while boating? Because someone operating a boat with a Blood Alcohol Content (or BAC) over .10% is 10 times more likely to die in a boating accident than someone operating a boat while sober, according to boatingundertheinfluence.org. BUI accounts for 34 percent of fatal boat accidents each year.
In fact, it’s more dangerous to drink and operate a boat than to drink and operate a car. Why? Because the marine conditions, including motion, vibration, engine noise, sun, wind, etc. expedites the boater’s impairment when they’ve consumed alcohol, according to the United States Coast Guard.
As an injury lawyer who works for a firm committed to spreading the word about boat safety, I implore you to be a responsible boater. Remember, drinking does not equate to a good time on the water. This is especially true if you get fined or arrested for BUI.
Here’s a video featuring Keith Colburn from the popular television show “Deadliest Catch” discussing the dangers of drinking while boating…
In order to avoid a potential BUI, follow these simple guidelines, suggested by the Coast Guard:
- Bring various cool drinks such as soda, water, lemonade, punch or non-alcoholic beer.
- Bring plenty of food and snacks.
- Plan to limit your trip to a reasonable time to avoid fatigue.
- If you dock somewhere to eat and you decide to consume alcohol with your meal, wait a reasonable amount of time (estimated at a minimum of an hour per drink) before operating your boat again.
About the Editors: Shapiro, Cooper Lewis & Appleton personal injury law firm is based in Virginia (VA), near the NE North Carolina (NC) border and handles car,truck,railroad, and medical negligence cases and more. Our lawyers proudly edit the Virginia Beach Injuryboard, Norfolk Injuryboard, and Northeast North Carolina Injuryboard as a pro bono public information service. Lawyers licensed in: VA, NC, SC, WV, DC, KY.