Is Stricter BUI Enforcement Leading to Fewer Boating Accidents?
As we headed into fall for 2015, news sources reported1 that boating accidents had decreased throughout Georgia in the past year. Last year, there were 99 reported collisions on Georgia waterways while the number was reduced to 91 in the same period of time this year. The Georgia Department of Natural Resources largely attributes the decrease to more intensive efforts to enforce state laws against boating under the influence of alcohol.
Boating is a favorite pastime for many people in our state, however, days out on the water are often associated with having some alcoholic beverages. While drinking on a boat is not illegal in itself, operating a boat while impaired by alcohol or drugs is against the Georgia Boat Safety Act,2 just like it is to operate any type of motor vehicle while intoxicated. Boating under the influence (BUI) is one of the main causes of boating accidents and injuries. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)3 reported that alcohol is a factor in 70 percent of water-related deaths during recreational activities.
Enforcement of BUI laws has increased, as water patrol authorities issued 191 citations prior to the Labor Day holiday, compared to 182 last year. Authorities believe that getting drunk boaters off of the waterways helps significantly in limiting the number of accidents, injuries, and deaths that occur. Other ways that boat drivers can avoid accidents is by following all safety laws, avoiding distracted driving, having proper safety equipment on board all vessels, and similar precautions.
Find out how an experienced Atlanta accident attorney can help you
At the law office of Boling Rice LLC, our experienced Atlanta personal injury lawyers know how to handle cases involving many types of accidents with different vehicles—from boats to motorcycles to large commercial trucks. There is no excuse for operating any type of motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol and our legal team is committed to standing up for the rights of injured victims in DUI and BUI accidents. Please call for a free consultation at 770-744-0890 today.