BOATING ACCIDENTS CAUSED BY INTOXICATED DRIVERS
Boating while intoxicated is the leading contributing factor in boating accidents and fatalities. In 2020, there were 16 boating fatalities in Minnesota. Nine of those fatal boat accidents – more than 56 percent – involved alcohol. Minnesota’s BWI laws are among the strongest in the country. Now, a relatively new law means people convicted of drinking and driving – whether they’re driving a boat, motor vehicle or recreational vehicle – lose their privilege to operate any of them.
“We have absolutely no tolerance for boaters who choose to operate while under the influence. They endanger their own lives, but also the lives of every other boater on the water,” said Lt. Adam Block, DNR Enforcement boating law administrator. “The penalties associated with boating under the influence have never been higher, but they pale in comparison to losing your life or ending someone else’s life because of a choice you made.”
The majority of fatal boating accidents turn deadly because people aren’t wearing a life jacket. Intoxication often is what causes them to end up in the water in the first place. The legal blood alcohol limit for boaters is .08, but public safety officials encourage boaters to leave alcohol on shore and boat sober on “dry water.” “Planning ahead can alleviate all of the issues associated with boating under the influence,” Block said. “If you’re going to partake while you’re on the water, make sure you’ve lined up a sober ride – both on the boat and on the way home.”
INJURY COMPENSATION FOR BOAT ACCIDENT
If you have been injured in a boating accident, call us for a free consultation. Our lawyers have more than 25 years’ experience representing people injured in accidents throughout Minnesota. Our primary focus is to make sure your medical bills are paid and you receive all appropriate compensation. When you call our office, you will talk to a top personal injury attorney who will answer your questions. We can meet with you at our offices in the Twin Cities, and we also will come to your home anywhere in Minnesota.