Many boaters think nothing of cracking open a beer while out on a vessel with their friends. Sadly, drinking and boating don’t mix. Not only are you potentially breaking the law, but you dramatically increase the odds of an accident. Holcomb Law, LLLC represents those accused of boating under the influence, or BUI. Below, we highlight some of the dangers of mixing alcohol and boats.
Alcohol Impairs Clear Thinking
Operating a boat isn’t brain surgery, but it does require making some judgment calls. For example, if a vessel is approaching yours, you might need to sound a horn or move out of the way. If you suddenly confront poor weather, you might need to turn back to shore rather than plow ahead.
Alcohol can cloud a person’s thinking, leading to mistakes and possibly risky behavior. For example, you might head toward a storm and end up capsizing your vessel because you didn’t consider the consequences of your actions.
Alcohol Increases the Effects of Heat & Sun
Sun, heat, and food can all conspire to make a person tired. It isn’t unusual to feel a little lightheaded while out on a vessel for several hours in the blazing heat. Now add alcohol into the mix. Your reflexes, already sluggish, might become that much slower. There’s a risk you might even fall asleep when at the controls. The best bet is to stay well hydrated and avoid alcohol.
Alcohol Affects Balance & Coordination
If you’re standing at the controls, you need to stay upright and have full use of your faculties. Too much alcohol could cause you to fall over or lose control of a vessel, at least temporarily. If you’re out on the boat alone, no one else can take over for you.
Alcohol Can Make You Aggressive
Although alcohol is known to suppress a person’s nervous system, some people become aggressive after drinking too much because they can no longer control their impulses. You might take offense to another boater and try to ram them or capsize them. There is an increased risk of seriously hurting someone.
Alcohol Can Make Small Problems Worse
If you’re intoxicated, you might fail to take simple safety precautions which imperil your safety. For example, you might fail to have enough life vests in the boat or fail to bring a fire extinguisher. Suddenly, if someone falls overboard or you have a fire, lives could be lost. A minor problem becomes much worse, and you could face criminal charges for endangering someone’s life.
Contact Our Honolulu BUI Lawyer Today
Because impaired boating is so dangerous, Hawaii imposes harsh penalties for those arrested and convicted. You need a lawyer who understands the science behind blood alcohol concentration and can represent you through the legal process.
Sometimes the state prosecutes someone who wasn’t chemically impaired at all but was simply tired, confused, or angry behind the wheel. You shouldn’t face penalties—including possible jail time—if you were not in violation of the law. Contact Holcomb Law today. We will meet with you for a free consultation. Our Honolulu BUI lawyer is ready to fight for your freedom.