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Fourth of July Safety Tips: Avoid Boating While Intoxicated

Fourth of July is a massive celebration each year in Boston, with fireworks along the Esplanade and the Boston Pops playing. Many people choose to watch this special event from boats on the Charles River while other boaters spend their days enjoying the warm weather and summer fun. 1420072_fireworks_over_columbus_river_1.jpg

Unfortunately, our Boston drunk driving accident lawyers know that this celebration of America’s independence brings with it some serious risks. Over the Fourth of July Holiday, many boaters throughout the Boston area choose to commemorate the day by having a few too many drinks. This can significantly increase the risk of a boating accident, and it is also illegal behavior.

Avoid Boating While Intoxicated on the Fourth of July
Boating is a great way to spend the Fourth of July but many people get too carried away with the celebrations and consume too much alcohol. Open containers are allowed on boats and people are even allowed to drink in moderation when operating a boat. However, like with motor vehicles, if your blood alcohol content is over the legal limit, you are considered to be in violation of the law.

When you drive a boat, just as when you drive a car, you give implied consent to have your blood alcohol tested if law enforcement believes that you have been drinking too much. Open containers aboard your boat or erratic driving could provide reason for the coast guard or local authorities to do a BAC check to see if you are within the legal limits. If you are intoxicated, then you could be arrested for boating under the influence.

While an arrest for BUI may seem like a disaster, it isn’t even the worst thing that could happen as a result of drunk boating. Intoxicated boaters can cause serious accidents, endangering themselves, other passengers aboard the boat and everyone else on the water at the same time. When a boating accident happens, the drunk boater who caused the crash can be held legally liable and can be made to pay for all of the damages he caused through his intoxicated operation of the vessels.

Intoxicated boat captains are not the only ones who need to worry about drunk boating accidents either. Everyone who is on the water, whether on a personal watercraft or on water skis or in a vessel of their own, should be aware that there is an increased chance of drunk boaters being out. This means that even people who are being responsible need to be watchful of others who might not be following the law.

Finally, passengers aboard boats also need to be careful not to get too drunk to be safe. Intoxicated guests aboard a boat could slip and fall on a dock, could fall overboard or could be injured in any number of different ways. Drowning incidents or accidents involving the boats propeller are tragic outcomes that could occur if a drunk boater falls overboard.

To ensure that no one meets an unpleasant fate over the Fourth of July holiday, everyone on a boat- both drivers and passengers- should make a commitment to consuming only limited amounts of alcohol over the holiday.

If you or a loved one was involved in a drunk driving accident in Massachusetts, call the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman for a free and confidential appointment — 1-888-367-2900.

More Blog Entries:
New England Enters 100 Deadliest Days of Summer Driving, Boston Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer Blog, May 15, 2013.