As temperatures rise, people who own boats will start getting them ready for the season. Both thousands of landlocked lakes and the open ocean are tempting for those who love to fish, water ski or just escape the daily grind. Those who own a boat may have many socialization opportunities as friends and family will often jump at the chance to enjoy a day out on the water with them. Their boat may be a source of many priceless family memories, but it can also potentially lead to a family tragedy.
Every year, there are boat collisions and other incidents caused by unsafe practices out on lakes and open waters around Connecticut. One mistake, in particular, has a strong association with major and deadly boating accidents.
Alcohol is a risk for everyone on a boat
In the summer of 2022, there was a tragic boating incident that claimed the lives of two individuals. After a lengthy investigation, the state revealed that the gentleman operating the boat that crashed into the breakwater had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of more than twice the legal limit. Both the impaired boater and his passenger died after the incident, which likely occurred after a long day of fishing.
Connecticut has a very clear law prohibiting the operation of a boat while under the influence of alcohol. The law imposes the same limit for BAC as the limit applied for those driving motor vehicles. Unfortunately, plenty of recreational boaters feel like they can break the law with impunity because they are unlikely to encounter law enforcement out on the water. People may drink while boating and could end up intoxicated and incapable of safely operating a watercraft.
Those hurt in aquatic incidents may need to go to court
After a car crash, the people affected generally know that they can file an insurance claim. The situation is usually less clear when someone gets hurt because of a boating incident. There may not be insurance that applies, which means that a lawsuit may be necessary for those hurt while enjoying recreational watercraft.
Holding someone accountable for drunk boating or other dangerous activities with the assistance of a legal professional can benefit those who have been injured while hoping to enjoy a beautiful day out on a boat.