The Mississippi Alcohol Boating Safety Act prohibits anyone from operating a boat while intoxicated due to alcohol or drugs. A concentration of .10 bac is evidence that a person is intoxicated and that person will be given a BUI (boating under the influence). If one has less than .10 bac, then the charge will be reckless driving. These laws are strictly enforced. Drinking while on the water poses one of the greatest dangers to those swimming or boating. When you are on the water in the heat of the summer, fatigue sets in quicker. If you have been drinking, it hits you even harder.
According to statistics of the U.S. Coast Guard, over 50% of all water related deaths involved alcohol; 70% of those involved capsizing or falling overboard and 80% of those occured on boats under 26 feet.
A local Game and Fish officer said of the 44 body bags that he has seen, not one of them was wearing a life jacket. For a great example of what happens in a split second in a boating accident, watch www.youtube.com and search for "bass boat crash".
So, remember the other rules of boating safety. Anyone born after June 30, 1980, must have passed a boating education course. Any passenger 12 or under, must be accompanied by someone at least 21 years old. There must be a life jacket for each person on board. Children 12 and younger must wear their life jacket at all times that the boat is moving. There must be an additional throw cushion on board. Most boat related drownings happen to people who know how to swim, but are not wearing a life jacket. See Mississippi Boating Handbook which can be found at www.mdwfp.com. Follow the links for Fishing and Boating.
192,000 vessels are registered in MS and a majority of these will be on the water during the Fourth of July weekend. Most boating accidents are collisions with other boats, an object in the water, fire and/or explosions or passengers falling overboard. Jet ski accidents and others occur more during this holiday than any other time of the year because everyone is off of work and enjoying their water related activities during the heat of the summer.
Everyone should be safe on the water. If you are involved in a boating accident and have some questions, call Mississippi Accident Lawyer Paul Snow for a FREE consultation to discuss your particular case at 601-969-1977 or contact us online. We represent clients who have been injured or killed in boating accidents all over MS and LA including Jackson, Gulfport, Biloxi, Hattiesburg, Greenville, Meridian, Tupelo, Southaven, Vicksburg, and Pascagoula.