It’s the time of year when people will be taking to the water with more regularity. Most people are aware that drinking and boating are both dangerous and illegal, but their are myths surrounding drinking while on the water that should be dispelled. Knowing that the behavior is dangerous is not enough.
1. Drinking and Boating Is Safer than Drinking and Driving
There is a common misconception that being drunk behind the wheel of a boat is not as dangerous as being behind the wheel of a vehicle while intoxicated. The truth is that drinking and boating is at least as dangerous, if not slightly more, than operating a boat while intoxicated. The water is not marked by lanes, there are no street lights, and there are no signs. This can make it even more difficult to navigate when intoxicated.
2. Boats Are Meant for a Good Time
Boats have a reputation of being “toys.” They are made for a party. After all, you can simply anchor the boat, drink as much as you like and be perfectly safe. This is incorrect. A boat is a vehicle, it is anything but a toy.
3. It’s Hard to Get Caught
Sure, there are police on the side of the road waiting for drunk drivers, but you are in the clear on the water. This is false. Law enforcement has been cracking down in recent years, looking for those who may be operating their vessels while under the influence. If you think that you can drink and operate a boat without repercussion, you are incorrect.
4. Drinking and Boating Only Counts if There Is a Motor
You can be charged with boating under the influence in a vessel whether or not it has a motor. Boating under the influence pertains to any type of vessel, from canoes to kayaks and fishing boats to luxury yachts.
5. BUI Means You Drank Alcohol
Boating under the influence does not only mean that you have had an alcoholic beverage. You can also be charged with boating under the influence if you are found to have anything in your system that inhibits your ability to operate your boat safely. From prescription medication to illegal narcotics, if you are under the influence of any substance, you could be charged.
Boating under the influence is dangerous. When you choose to operate a boat after consuming any intoxicating substance, you are putting not only yourself, but others on the water, at risk. Your safest course of action is to only operate a boat if you are sober.
If you are involved in a boating accident in North Carolina, call our office. Our experienced team of boat accident attorneys will review your case at no cost and advise you of your legal options. Call now to schedule your consultation.