Operating a boat or personal watercraft under the influence of alcohol is even more dangerous on the water than on land, as the engine noise, water spray, wind, and motion of the boat or watercraft usually combine to increase an operator’s impairment. Judgment, reaction time, and coordination are more adversely affected by alcohol use on the water than on land.
Additionally, with or without alcohol involvement, even experienced boaters may be unaware of the full spectrum of danger which may lurk on the water, including unlit or inadequately lit obstructions, shallow depth, other boats, etc. Often, boating accidents happen at night, when visibility is low, and unseen dangers combine with operator impairment or inexperience to bring sudden and unexpected accidents which could have been avoided.
Our Firm’s approach to these cases is unique. We engage in a thorough and immediate investigation and then seek accountability from all those responsible for an accident, including not only the operator of the boat or watercraft involved, but also any others who may have contributed to the accident through their negligence. For example, if the boater was served alcohol by a bar or marina while underage or visibly intoxicated, we seek to hold the bar or marina accountable. If the boat contacted an unlit or unseen obstruction, we pursue those who negligently caused or permitted it to exist without warning or adequate lighting.