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Texas boasts numerous lakes and an entire coastline to be enjoyed, and what better way to enjoy them than on a boat. But a recreation that is almost always enjoyed alongside alcohol can turn deadly in a moment.
According to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, the likelihood of being killed in a boating accident doubles when alcohol is involved. While it is legal to have open containers on boats, operators and passengers both are subject intoxication laws. One will be considered intoxicated if he has a blood alcohol level of 0.08 or more, or if he does not have the normal use of his mental or physical faculties because of alcohol or a controlled substance. Remember that passengers are also subject to public intoxication laws.
Operating a boat while intoxicated is just as dangerous, if not more dangerous, than operating a car while intoxicated. A boat functions quite differently than a car, and that lack of familiarity combined with distractions and alcohol can prove to be a very dangerous combination. For example, a boat does not have a brake function in the same way that a car does, so it can be more challenging to slow the vehicle down in a safe and timely manner. Also, without posted speed limits on the water as there are on the road, operators of boats might more easily boat at an excessive speed and capsize or cause an accident.
Boater education courses are not required in order to operate a boat unless an individual was born on or after September 1, 1993. However, there are many advantages to taking such a course if you operate a boat often, the main advantage being safety.
Courses cover tips on navigating the boat, handling accidents and emergencies, basic water safety, etc.
According to the United States Coast Guard, the following are the top five types of accidents:
If you have been involved in a boating accident, contact a boating accident attorney at Kirkendall Dwyer LLP for a free case evaluation. When you call our offices, you will speak directly to an attorney who can answer your questions immediately. We don’t recover a fee unless we recover compensation for you. You have nothing to lose; contact us today.