What is one of the leading contributing factors in fatal boating accidents? Alcohol. Just like being behind the wheel of a vehicle while intoxicated, the consequences of boating under the influence are deadly.
Alcohol can impair vision, coordination, balance and judgment. All of these impairments are further magnified by being on the water; when impaired by alcohol, boating accidents are more likely and more deadly for both passengers and boat operators. Sun, wind, noise, vibration and motion – stressors common to the boating environment – intensify the side effects of alcohol and drugs on the water.
Each state has laws prohibiting operation of a vessel while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The Coast Guard also enforces a federal law prohibiting boating under the influence. Operating a recreational vessel with a blood alcohol content of .08 or higher is against federal law. The blood alcohol content is .04 or higher if you are aboard a commercial vessel.
This weekend, June 22 through 24, a multi-agency initiative is taking to the water in an effort to limit accidents and fatalities as a result of boating under the influence and educate boaters across the nation on just how dangerous it is to mix boating and alcohol.
Operation Dry Water puts thousands of local, state and federal law enforcement officers on the water nationwide to keep a lookout for boaters who drink as well as providing boating safety education and awareness materials. > > > > Read More