Charpentier Law Firm, P.A.

Alcohol Consumption Increases the Risk of Boat Accidents

By Steve Charpentier on May 14, 2016

Powerboat traveling through the waterBoating is a popular recreational activity, especially in the state of Florida, where sun and warm waters are in abundance. The relaxed atmosphere of the bays and ocean can sometimes lead people to forget that boating can be dangerous. Boat accidents are a frequent occurrence, and often have costly and devastating effects. To minimize the risk of a boat accident, a great deal of caution needs to be taken when operating a boat or other watercraft. This requires that the boat operator devote their entire attention to that task. Alcohol consumption can decrease a person’s focus, and inhibit judgement. To protect boaters from these dangers, there are specific laws regarding drinking while operating a water vessel. Unfortunately, boat accidents and BUI are a frequent combination in the Melbourne, FL area. The boat accident attorneys at Charpentier Law Firm, P.A. can provide legal assistance to those who have been injured due to a boat accident involving boating while under the influence.

Florida BUI Laws

All 50 states have laws in place regarding boating under the influence, or BUI. While these laws are primarily focused on the consumption of alcohol while operating a boat or other watercraft, the law can also be used to enforce restrictions against using prescription medication or illegal drugs while in control of a boat. Although each state has BUI laws in place, the specifics of those laws vary.

Florida has some of the strictest BUI laws, as well as some of the strictest penalties for breaking these laws. This is largely due to the fact that Florida leads the nation in the number of yearly deaths from boating accidents. Of all the boating accidents that take place each year, it is estimated that one-third of fatal accidents involve the use of alcohol. Strict BUI laws are one way that government officials hope to decrease the number of boating fatalities. In Florida, a person can be charged with BUI if their blood alcohol level is .08 or higher, or if authorities can show that the person’s normal faculties are impaired by the use of drugs or alcohol.

Compensation for Accident Victims

A person can control his or her own actions when operating a boat, but, unfortunately, that does not protect individuals from the actions and decisions of others. If a boat accident occurs and one of the operators is charged with BUI, that can be a strong piece of evidence in proving liability for the boat accident. Once liability is proven, the victims of the boat accident have a legal right to collect compensation for damages that have been suffered.

In cases of BUI, insurance companies are often quick to offer a settlement. However, these settlements rarely provide the accident victim with the full extent of compensation they are due. The boat accident attorneys at Charpentier Law Firm, P.A. fight for our clients to ensure that they receive maximum compensation for damages such as pain and suffering, medical expenses, and loss of wages (or wage earning potential). Working with a skilled attorney is the best way an accident victim can ensure that their legal rights are fully protected.

Schedule a Consultation

If you have been involved in a boat accident, you should speak with a skilled attorney before accepting any offers made by the insurance company. Schedule a consultation with one of our experienced boat accident attorneys at Charpentier Law Firm, P.A. to discuss the details of your case and learn your best course of action moving forward.

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