Now that it’s the hottest time of the year in Kentucky, more boat and jet ski owners are eager to take a ride on the nearest lake or river. Unfortunately, not all of these residents are responsible when they get out on the water. Plenty of boaters think they have more freedom here than they do on the roads and might bring a cooler full of beer with them to share with some buddies.
Operating anything under the influence of alcohol is dangerous no matter what vehicle you’re using and where you’re at. BUI is one of the most common causes of boat accidents in Kentucky, so it’s essential for you to know how to identify potential red flags from other boaters.
The party boat
One advantage you have on the water as opposed to the road is that you can get a clearer view of what other boaters are up to. Some aren’t very subtle when it comes to what they’re doing with friends on the lake. Plenty of boaters bring families and friends out for a pleasant boat ride, but you’ll also come across those with music blasting out of the speakers and cans or bottles of beer sitting in the cup holders.
If you do come across a boat like this, keep your distance and redirect your boat to another part of the lake. It is illegal in Kentucky to drink alcohol on waterways, so the passengers shouldn’t be getting drunk either. Even if you’re not sure whether the boater had something to drink or not, they could still get distracted by their rambunctious guests.
Many experts argue that drunk boating is worse than drunk driving because the outdoor conditions amplify the effects. Increased exposure to the sun, wind, vibrating boat and flowing waves can already cause fatigue amongst boaters even without alcohol, so you can imagine how worse it gets when there’s a couple of beers involved.
Looking out for drunk boating patterns isn’t too different from watching for drunk drivers on the road. If they display abnormal or inconsistent speeds or demonstrate slow reactions from how close they get to you and your boating path, then you should change routes and try to stay away from them.
If you or a loved one receive injuries from a boater guilty of BUI, contact an attorney who specializes in boating accidents to help you financially recover from this incident.