Frequently Asked Questions
What is the most common cause of fatal boating accidents?
A: In an annual report on recreational boating, the U.S. Coast Guard lists “Alcohol Use” as the number one cause of fatal boating accidents. Boating while under the influence of alcohol use was linked to 21% of all fatal accidents. Of the 339 recreational boating deaths reported nationwide, 145 were caused by alcohol use.
Other common contributing factors include, in order:
- Careless/Reckless Operation
- Drug Use
- Excessive Speed
- Failure to Vent
- Lack of Improper Vessel Lights
- No Proper Lookout
- Operator Inattention
- Operator Inexperience
- Restricted Vision
- Rules of the Road Infraction
- Sharp Turn
Impaired Boating Skills
Boating Under the Influence (BUI), is a serious problem as the weather warms and more and more people turn to the water as a source of recreation. Drinking excessively while boating can lead to the impairment of a boat operator and affect skills such as:
- Ability to distinguish colors
- Cognitive abilities
- Reaction Time
- Peripheral Vision
Impaired boat operators aren’t just a danger to others on the water, but to themselves. Someone who is operating a boat with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of over .10% is 10 times more likely to die in an accident than someone who is sober.
A person is considered to be boating under the influence, and subject to criminal sanctions, if they are found to have a .08 or greater BAC.
Penalties for BUI in Massachusetts
Boaters convicted of a BUI offense are subject to the following penalties:
- Imprisonment for up to 30 months
- Fine up to $1,000
- Motor vehicle license and vessel’s registration revoked for up to one year
- Imprisonment up to 10 years, and fines up to $5,000 for accidents resulting in serious bodily injuries
If you have been involved in a boating accident and injured due to someone else’s negligence, contact an experienced personal injury attorney at Kiley Law Group, LLP. We will evaluate your case for FREE – 1-888-208-1695.