The dangers of drunk boating cannot be overstated. According to an American Boating Association (ABA) article, a Coast Guard study estimates that boat operators with a blood alcohol concentration above 10 percent are estimated to be more than 10 times as likely to be killed in a boating accident as boat operators with zero blood alcohol.
If you or a loved one are involved in a recreational boating accident caused by a drunken boater, you should:
- Seek medical attention;
- Take pictures of the boats, the accident scene and your injuries;
- Write down the contact information of everyone involved and any witnesses as well as a description of the accident scene and your injuries;
- Talk to a qualified attorney before making any statements to the other boater or insurance companies.
By taking these steps as soon as possible after your accident, you may be able to preserve evidence and maximize the damages you recover.
Loophole Protecting Massachusetts Drunken Boaters
According to The Metro West Daily News, in Massachusetts, there are few laws in place to keep boaters from going out on the water again after being caught operating a boat while drunk.
Like motor vehicle drivers, boaters must have a blood-alcohol content level below .08 to legally operate a boat. Boat operators convicted of boating under the influence (BUI) can be fined up to $1,000 and face up to two and a half years in prison. However, once boaters found guilty of BUI have paid their fine and/or done their time, the hurdles to keep them from immediately getting back behind the wheel of a boat are few.
“We don’t have boating licenses, though a lot of states do,” Environmental Police Sgt. Matthew Bass, who covers the Upper Cape and Martha’s Vineyard, stated. “We can suspend their boat registration, but there’s nothing to prevent them from going out to operate a boat not registered to them or buying a new boat.”
If you or a loved one has been the victim of a drunken boating accident, our maritime attorneys can help you fight for your rights. You deserve representation that is dedicated to getting you the compensation you need to support your family and pay medical expenses after the accident. With over 50 years of experience, we have the knowledge, skills and resources to successfully guide you through the legal process of bringing those responsible for your pain and suffering to justice. To schedule a free consultation to discuss your options, call our office today.
Latti & Anderson LLP – Nationwide Maritime Attorneys
Source: http://www.metrowestdailynews.com/article/20140106/NEWS/140109962, http://www.americanboating.org