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Alcohol Does Not Float With Boating

Summer is here for Biloxi and summer means boating. While it might be a fun way to spend the day it can also be a dangerous activity. Boating may be statistically safer than driving a car but many of the risks are the same. Thankfully this means that many of the good driving habits that keep you safe on the road can also keep you safe on the water.

There are certain actions that are more likely to lead to a boating accident in Biloxi. Indeed, the 10 most common contributing factors that lead to recreational boating accidents are:

  • Operator inattention
  • Improper lookout
  • Operator inexperience
  • Alcohol use
  • Excessive speed
  • Force of wake
  • Weather
  • Hazardous waters
  • Navigation rules violation
  • Machinery failure

Mississippi boating accidents cost 13 people their lives and injured over 31 in 2013, according to US Coast Guard statistics.

Common Sense and the Law

Some boating safety tips are common sense. Always check the weather reports before boating so you are not caught unaware by inclement weather. Avoid crowded areas full of other vessels. Stay out of the way of larger boats and ships and their wake. But some boating tips go beyond common sense, and are codified in Mississippi law.

If you are going to take a boat out on the water this year, be sure that you have completed your Boating Safety Course. Not only is it a good idea to have completed one to make sure you properly know how to operate a boat, but Mississippi law requires anyone born after June 30, 1980 to complete one before operating a recreational boating vehicle.

Always wear a life jacket while in a recreational boat. Seventy-seven percent of Mississippians who died in boating accidents were killed by drowning and 84 percent of Mississippians who died in boating accidents were not wearing a life jacket.

Never Drink and Operate

Never drink and operate a boat. It is illegal to operate a boat while under the influence of alcohol and could result in criminal charges. No matter how tempting a nice cold alcoholic beverage might be on a hot day, the restriction is for everyone’s safety. Alcohol consumption is the most commonly cited contributing factor to recreational boating accidents.

If you do consume alcoholic beverages or any other substance that alters your judgment, be warned that the Alcohol Boating Safety Act requires all boat operators’ consent to tests for the purpose of determining their blood alcohol content. If you are out on the water and consuming, you do not have the right to refuse a test to determine your blood alcohol content. If you are caught consuming, you may be required to pay a fine, face jail time and be required to complete a boating safety course. Consecutive convictions will see your right to operate a boat be taken away, and you may even face felony counts.

If The Worst Happens, Call Us

While common sense and respecting the law can help keep you safe on the water, sometimes accidents happen and injuries occur. If you or someone you know has been injured on the water, contact the Law Offices of Judy Guice in Biloxi, Mississippi. We can help guide you through the difficult process of attempting to recover  financial compensation for your injuries. Contact us at (228)-374-9787 or visit us online.

750 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd
Biloxi, Mississippi 39530
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228.374.9787

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