Miami Boating Safety News: Coast Guard Cracks Down on Drunk Boaters in Light of July 4th Weekend

MIAMI, FL— June 27, 2011- In light of the upcoming July 4th holiday, The National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) once again coordinated Operation Dry Water, in which U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) officers around the nation spent the weekend of July 24-26, 2011 cracking down on boating under the influence (BUI). According to information provided by the Coast Guard, Operation Dry Water was first launched in 2009 as a means of targeting drunk boaters to in turn cut recreational boating accidents and fatalities.
Coast Guard statistics suggest approximately 17 percent of all recreational boating deaths (about 300 boat accidents and 124 fatalities each year) are attributed to the consumption of alcohol while boating on the water. Furthermore, it is estimated that a boater who has a blood alcohol level above .10 percent is about 10 times as likely to suffer fatal injuries in a boating accident than a boat operator who did not consume any alcohol.

The USCG further noted that there are many factors that can make a drunk boater and his/her passengers even more susceptible to injury or death. First off, alcohol is known to hinder the boater’s “judgment, balance, vision, and reaction time,” while also making the operator more prone to fatigue and vulnerable to the adverse effects of cold water immersion. Secondly, physical stressors known to heighten the affects of alcohol—“sun, wind, noise, vibration, and motion”—can also pose dangers for boaters.

In 2010, NASBLA collected reports from 50 states participating in Operation Dry Water and found that 2,708 Coast Guard officers took to nationwide waters to strictly enforce BUI laws. That year, officers contacted 66,472 boaters and made 322 drunk boating arrests. Additionally, officers issued 7,522 safety warnings and 4,171 citations for various other boating violations.
Noting that it is not out of the ordinary for many boaters to consider alcohol and boating mutually inclusive during holidays such as Independence Day weekend,
the Miami boat accident attorneys of Gerson & Schwartz, P.A. urged those planning to spend any time in the water to heed caution.

About the Miami cruise ship injury lawyers and boat accident attorneys of Gerson & Schwartz, P.A.
With four decades of experience litigating the multifaceted personal injury and wrongful death claims of boat and cruise line passengers who are hurt or assaulted onboard, the knowledgeable Florida boating accident lawyers of Gerson & Schwartz are dedicated to protecting the rights of these individuals and fighting to provide them with the compensation they deserve. Working closely with the National Center for Victims of Crime, the Miami personal injury attorneys of Gerson & Schwartz, P.A. strive to provide justice to individuals who suffer serious injuries in a wide variety of boating accidents.

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