How BUI Relates to Boating Accidents – David Morowitz
Drink for drink, the operator of a boat is more likely to become impaired more quickly that an operator of a vehicle. This results in a third of all boating fatalities being the direct result of boating under the influence. Not only does the Coast Guard enforce a federal law that applies to ALL boats, but every state in the union has laws with stiff penalties (fines and jail time) for boating under the influence. It does not matter if you are in US waters or a vessel registered in the United States on the high seas. This can result in a double jeopardy situation. Using drugs or drinking will result in a BUI charge and quite possibly relate to a boating accident.
The Same As Drunk Driving
BUI relates to boating accidents in the same way as drinking while driving relates to traffic accidents.
- Your ability to think clearly and make good judgment calls deteriorate with every drink you take.
- You will suffer from an increasing lack of coordination, and problems with balance increase as your physical abilities decrease.
- Your vision is affected in many ways. Some examples include: decreased depth perception, lack of peripheral vision, poor focusing abilities, and a lower ability to distinguish colors such as red and green.
A blood alcohol level over .10 percent, due to problems like those listed above, means that a BUI related accident is ten times more likely to be a fatality – to die -in BUI related boating accident involving drugs or alcohol.
Tips for Avoiding BUI Related Accidents
- Bring plenty of food and snacks
- Bring a wide selection of cool, non-alcoholic beverages. These could include water, iced tea, lemonade, soda, and non-alcoholic beer.
- Wear clothing that will help keep you cool while out in the sun.
- People become tired easier on the water. Plan your trip accordingly so fatigue does become an issue.
- Just as when a group of friends goes out when on land, choose a designated driver. The person operating the boat should be your “designated driver” to keep everyone safe and BUI Boating accidents from happening.