Alcohol Use a Common Cause of California Boating Accidents

Boating and alcohol use can be a deadly combination. According to the California Department of Boating and Waterways, 25 percent of all boating-related deaths involve alcohol use. Having a sober driver for your boat is every bit as important as having a sober driver for your car – and if you choose to drink and boat, the stakes are just as high.

Although the legal limit for being under the influence of alcohol is a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08%, studies show that a person’s ability to operate a boat safely may be impaired at as low as 0.35%. Just one drink can raise your BAC to this level, or even higher if your body weight is quite low. It takes about one hour per drink to sober up, or longer if you have a slow metabolism.

At a BAC of 0.35%, a person’s judgment and coordination become impaired. Judgment and coordination are two essential requirements for operating a boat safely. You must be able to determine where obstacles, docks, and other boats are, and pilot the boat so that it avoids colliding with any of these things. Impaired judgment makes the first one difficult, and impaired coordination makes the second one more difficult.

Unfortunately, even if you choose to boat sober, you can’t control the decisions of other boaters who can cause an accident. If you’re injured in a California boating accident this summer, the experienced California boating injury attorneys can help. Call us today for a free, confidential consultation.

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