If you ask a hundred people when summer starts, you will most likely hear a lot of different answers. For some people, summer starts when the children are out of school. For other people, the start of summer is Memorial Day weekend. Still for yet other people, summer does not officially begin until they have their boat in the water. Boating is a great summer past time that many people enjoy. However, boating can quickly turn dangerous, especially if the operator of the boat does not exercise proper judgment.
While it is not illegal to have a drink and operate a boat, or even for a boater to have a drink while boating, it is illegal for a boat operator to have a blood-alcohol content of .08 or higher or if he or she is found to be “under the influence”. Research has even shown that a person can reach the level of intoxication with blood-alcohol content well below .08 while boating due to the elements at play. For example, dehydration and exposure to the sun, wind, and waves can all magnify the effects of alcohol on the body.
Just like the driver of a motor vehicle, the operator of a boat is responsible for the safety of his or her passengers. If a boat operator chooses to drink, he or she not only risks being arrested and charged with drunken boating, he or she also puts the safety of his or her passengers in danger. Sadly many Oklahoma residents are not aware that boating while under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol is a crime. Even more frightening is that many Oklahoma residents are not aware of the dangers of drunken boating. It is estimated that close to half of all boating accidents involve alcohol. A drunk boater can cause an accident which can have serious and sometimes even fatal injuries for his or her passengers or other people on the water.
In May of 2013, two young people were killed when a ski boat operated by a friend, crashed into a house boat. One of the persons killed was a former Miss Teen Oklahoma. At the time of the accident, the operator of the boat had a blood-alcohol content of .18, or more than twice the legal limit.
In early June of this year, a 33-year old Boston attorney pled “not guilty” to charges, that he was operating his boat while intoxicated, following an incident where a 19-year old woman lost her arm. According to police reports, the young woman on board the boat jumped into the water to rescue an item that had fallen in. The woman’s arm was severed when she became trapped in the boat’s propeller. The woman also suffered injuries to her face and abdomen.
To protect yourself, never ride on a boat with an operator who has been drinking.
If you or a loved one was seriously injured or killed in a boating accident caused by a drunk boater, it is important to seek the advice of an experienced Oklahoma Personal Injury Attorney. All too often people are not aware that it is illegal for a person to operate a boat while under the influence of alcohol just as it is a motor vehicle. Fortunately, the attorneys at The Handley Law Center are seasoned injury attorneys who have represented countless injury victims. At The Handley Law Center our attorneys know and understand just how devastating a boating injury can be for the victim and his or her family. To schedule a free and completely confidential consultation with one of our seasoned injury attorneys, contact the Oklahoma Injury Attorneys at The Handley Law Center today at (405) 295-1924. No one will work harder to obtain the compensation you deserve, than the injury attorneys at The Handley Law Center!