The beautiful spring weather means peak boating season is coming in Georgia. You will not be the only one enjoying being out on the water with family and friends. The increase in boaters brings a higher risk of getting in an accident.
Unfortunately, you do not have to worry about drunk driving only on the road. It is also one of the most common causes of boating accidents. Be informed about boating under the influence in Georgia in case you get hit by a drunk boat driver.
The dangers of BUI
The U.S. Coast Guard reports that alcohol impairs those operating a boat faster than it does those operating a vehicle due to environmental stressors, such as exposure to the elements and the motion of the waves. Furthermore, people tend not to have as much experience driving on waterways as they do on highways, compounding the problems of impairment.
Georgia law on BUI
It is illegal to operate a boat under the influence of any drug. Blood alcohol limits are the same for driving boats as they are for driving automobiles: 0.02 percent if under 21, and 0.08 percent if 21 or above. The law also encompasses all drugs, not just alcohol. This includes legal drugs and prescription medications. The rules apply for all types of boats, including:
- Kayaks and canoes
- Water skis
- Personal watercrafts
- Small vessels
- Large ships
Boating under the influence is still illegal even if the boat’s motor is off and the vessel is just floating in the water.
Penalties of a BUI
Drunk drivers may lose the privilege to operate any watercraft, have to pay a fine or spend time in jail. They must consent to testing for intoxication or automatically receive a suspension of driving privileges for a year. They may also face lawsuits from injured accident victims. If you are a victim, contact a Georgia personal injury attorney with experience in BUI cases to start the process of recovering damages. You should not have to pay for the consequences of someone else’s carelessness.