We all know what fun it can be to celebrate the summer months with friends and family. Many Washington residents are getting geared up for all things summer. For many people this includes boating. If you plan to be out on the water this summer and think you may be imbibing in an alcoholic beverage or two, it's important to remember that drunk driving charges aren't limited to those driving a car.
Penalties for boating under the influence (BUI) and boating while intoxicated (BWI) can range from fines to suspension and/or revocation of a boating license. In some instances, penalties may include jail time. By limiting the amount of alcohol you drink, or abstaining completely, and following a few simple guidelines you can decrease the chances of being involved in a boating accident.
Tips for safe boating:
•· Check weather conditions before leaving the dock
•· Inform someone on shore of where you are going and when you expect to return
•· Wear life jackets
•· Because cell phones are not a reliable form of communication on the water, always have a VHF-FM marine band radio
•· Obtain a global positioning device to maintain proper nautical charts
In 2011 there were 144 boating accidents. Of these, 28 were fatal accidents. As the summer boating season gets started it's important for boaters to remember that making good decisions can keep you safe. By following just a few simple steps, you can decrease the chances of being involved in an accident on the water.
Source: 9 News, "Coast Guard kicks off National Boating Safety Week," Phillip Sayblack, May 21, 2012