Many people in Louisiana own boats or know people who do. Boating can be a fun way to relax on the water for people of all ages. However, boats are not simply toys for people's amusement. They need to be controlled and driven correctly; otherwise, the boater is putting both themselves and others on the water in danger. That is why it can be dangerous to operate a boat while intoxicated.
Not only can it lead to boating accidents, it is also illegal and can lead to criminal charges. It is illegal for anyone over 21 to operate a boat with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) over .08, and it is illegal for anyone under 21 to operate a boat with a BAC over .02. If a person is caught doing so, they face up to six months in prison and a $1,000 fine. They could also lose their driver's license in addition to their ability to operate a boat as well.
When boaters are intoxicated, the hope is that they are only charged with a crime, and no one is hurt as a result. But, this is not always the case. Many times, intoxicated boaters cause accidents, leading to serious injuries to those involved.
These injuries can result in significant medical bills for the victims, in addition to not being able to work or enjoy the activities they used to enjoy prior to the accident. The victims may be entitled to compensation from the intoxicated boater though, which can be valuable for the victims.
Unfortunately, intoxicated boaters injure many people on the water in Louisiana. This can leave the victims in a difficult situation physically, emotionally and financially. While compensation will not heal the injuries, at least the victim will not need to worry about their finances and can focus on getting better. Experienced attorneys understand how devastating boating accidents can be and may be a useful resource.
Source: boat-ed.com, "The Handbook of Louisiana Boating Laws and Responsibilities" accessed on May 2, 2017