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Factors that can exacerbate intoxicated boaters


Some residents in Louisiana do not believe that it is as big of a deal to have a beer and operate a boat as it is to have a beer and operate a motor vehicle. This is simply not true; in fact The U.S. Coast Guard warns that "alcohol is more hazardous on water than on land." Since the U.S. Coast Guard is called in on boating disasters, they would know the dangers of this situation. For those that still doubt the severity of drinking and boating, here are some facts and figures.

There are numerous factors that can and will affect a boat operator's physical and mental abilities while on the water. These include heat, sun, noise, wind, glare and the motion of a boat on the water for a long period of time. These factors are often referred to as 'boater's fatigue.' If alcohol and drugs are also involved, one's ability to safely operate a vessel on the water can be severely affected since alcohol and drugs can significantly impair areas of the brain such as judgment and motor skills.

This is why intoxicated boating should be taken more seriously. Too many Louisiana residents have been negatively affected by an intoxicated boater in a boating accident. When there is an accident on the waters, it can lead to severe injuries to those involved.

Boats only have life vests, not airbags or seat belts, so those involved in collisions can be seriously injured, even if only traveling at seemingly slow speeds. For those injured, medical expenses can be high and potentially life-long.

If a boating accident has left you or a loved one with expensive medical bills, property damage or significant injuries the responsible party should be held accountable for their wrong. If a negligent-based act was committed, such as boating while intoxicated, during the accident it is likely a smoking gun for negligence claims. Innocent people should not be left to bear someone else's burden. That's why it is possible to seek reparations for wrongs made to injured parties.

Source: dui.findlaw.com, "Boating under the influence basics," Accessed October 26, 2015

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