Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission recently arranged a media day to promote boating safety. July is known for boating accidents on Florida waters, and many personal injury claims result from boating under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The FWC reminded boaters that BUI is a serious crime in Florida, and convictions can have severe consequences, not to mention the civil lawsuits that might follow.

Law enforcement officers in specialty marine units said their focus on BUI detection aims to limit the numbers of boating injuries and fatalities that are typical during at this time each year. They urged people not to join boat rides without making sure that the operator is sober and drug-free. There also must be a life jacket for each person on the boat.

The legal blood alcohol content limit for boat operators is .08% — the same as for driving a vehicle on land. A spokesperson for FWC says many people make the mistake of thinking that boating is as easy as driving a car. He says maneuvering and navigating a boat is much more complicated, particularly because it is a seasonal activity that needs practice.

Victims of boating accidents in Florida might have grounds to file civil lawsuits if negligent boat operators caused their injuries. Proving such negligence in the court could be challenging, and might be best handled by an experienced personal injury attorney. Legal counsel can assess the viability of such a claim, and then assist throughout every step of the ensuing legal proceedings to seek recovery of monetary damages incurred.