Boston Maritime Trial Lawyers Encourage All Boaters to Celebrate Responsibly
During the holiday season, numerous advocacy groups and public service announcements call attention to the dangers of drunk driving. However, with tonight being New Year’s Eve and alcohol being consumed on boats as well as on land, it is important to remember that boating under the influence is every bit as dangerous and illegal as driving a car while intoxicated. If you plan on ringing in the new year while on the water, you should make sure to appoint a sober individual to pilot your watercraft. Last month offered a couple reminders of not only the legal, but fatal consequences that drunk boating can have.
In Oklahoma, the Tulsa World reported that a 39-year-old middle school principal was charged with first-degree manslaughter and reckless operation of a vessel in connection to a fatal boating accident this past July. A report from Grand River Dam Authority police officers said alcohol use and excessive speed contributed to a crash in which three passengers were thrown from a boat after it struck a breakwater structure near Arrowhead South Marina. According to the World, police found the body of the 39-year-old deceased passenger 12 hours later in 50 feet of water in the Duck Creek arm of Grand Lake. All four people had reportedly attended a wedding and reception earlier in the evening, and one passenger testified that the men had bought beer before boarding the boat. The middle school principal’s blood alcohol content registered at 0.09 in a test conducted nearly 3 ½ hours after the crash, and the World reported that he is on unpaid leave until the conclusion of his criminal proceedings.
In Connecticut, a state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection investigation into the cause of another July fatal boating accident found that a 30-year-old boater killed in a crash had a blood alcohol content of 0.25 percent—more than three times the legal limit of 0.08 percent. The Stamford Advocate reported that an initial investigation “found numerous full and empty alcoholic beverage containers within the vessel.” The boat reportedly hit the rocks at “planing speed” of at least 18 to 22 miles per hour, and Stamford police said the crash was so violent that it dislodged the boat’s engine. The craft also went so far up the boulder seawall that it mangled the outdrive at the rear of the boat containing the gears and propeller.
Again, we encourage anyone intending to celebrate New Year’s Eve on any sort of watercraft this evening to designate a sober individual to pilot the vessel before getting out on the water. Latti & Anderson LLP represents many different types of clients who have been injured on the water, and you can find more information about recreational boating accidents on our website. If you or a loved one has sustained catastrophic injuries as a result of a drunk boater, complete the form on this page to let our Boston maritime trial lawyers review your case or contact our firm today at (800) 392-6072 to schedule an appointment.
Latti & Anderson LLP – Boston maritime attorneys