Fourth of July weekend is here! This is a holiday that brings thousands of boaters to the water. More boaters means more boats and people on the water, more alcohol, and an increased risk of accidents and arrests for Boating Under the Influence (BUI).
Keep in mind that police will be on the lookout for drunk boaters this holiday weekend. With that said, you should practice safe boating habits and make sure that you are vigilant about the safety of everyone on board your vessel.
Studies show that the majority of boating accidents occur between the months of June, July and August, on Saturday or Sunday, between 12pm and 6pm. The majority of boating accidents involve operators between the ages of 20 and 40. In the state of Florida, it is required that anyone born after Jan. 1, 1988 must have completed a boater education course approved by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), or passed an approved equivalency exam before operating a boat with an engine of more than 10 horsepower.
While there may not be anything more American than enjoying a cold beer on a hot summer day, drinking and boating is just as dangerous as drinking and driving. In Florida, the legal blood-alcohol limit for boating is .08 percent, the same as driving a car. A first-time BUI charge can result in fines up to $500 and up to 6 months in jail. The consequences of a conviction increase if there is property damage.
Our South Florida Boating Accident Lawyers at Whittel & Melton want to remind everyone to celebrate safe this Fourth of July by simply following the law. Keep an eye out on your surroundings and use common sense. If you or someone you love is injured or arrested this Fourth of July, we are here to help.
We will be available 24/7 to assist you. Call us at 561-367-8777 or contact us online for a free consultation.