Boating under the influence of drugs or alcohol is very dangerous as well as illegal. It’s been estimated that roughly half of all boating accidents are related to drug or alcohol use. Some studies have shown that alcohol use can be more dangerous on boats than on land. The boat’s motion and the sun and wind can combine to make the boater become more quickly intoxicated. In addition, boaters frequently become very tired more quickly than an automobile driver would.
Unfortunately, many boaters do not have much experience on the water when compared with driving on land, which can make drinking and boating even more dangerous. Drinking while boating can cause a lack of balance, poor vision, and overall a lack of physical and mental performance.
Under California law, boat operators can be charged with driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. There are federal laws in place as well, which are enforced by the Coast Guard. Anyone convicted of boating under the influence can face similar penalties as the driver of a car who is driving under the influence.
If you have been harmed by a boater who was under the influence of alcohol or drugs, you have legal rights that need to be protected. You may be entitled to compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more as a result of the accident. If you are in southern California, call me, Conal Doyle, Los Angeles personal injury attorney, at 310-385-0567. I will provide you with a free consultation on your case.