DUI Boating Accidents in Louisiana: What You Need to Know

July 18th, 2018

For some people, a day on the water isn’t complete without a few drinks. But drinking while boating is a serious offense in Louisiana, and for good reason—it’s extremely dangerous.

The U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) reports that alcohol is the most significant contributing factor in fatal boating accidents, even outweighing other common causes such as operator distraction and inexperience.

It’s easy to dismiss or downplay both the risks and ramifications of drinking while operating or riding in a boat, but both should never be taken lightly. It’s common knowledge that boat owners and operators who are under the influence of alcohol can be and often are held responsible for accident-related injuries, but even intoxicated boat passengers can also be held liable when others are hurt during boat accidents.

How Can Boat Operators and Passengers Cause Accidents?

Boat operators who are under the influence of alcohol can increase the risk of serious accidents by:

  • Operating a boat in a reckless or dangerous manner
  • Failing to abide by maritime laws
  • Speeding

Intoxicated boat passengers can also increase the risk of serious accidents by:

  • Distracting boat operators
  • Acting recklessly or dangerously

Accidents are unpredictable and can happen at any time and any place, even when all safety precautions are followed. Louisiana boaters can significantly reduce their liability and their risks by never operating their boats after consuming alcohol and by limiting or forbidding alcohol from being consumed on their vessels.

It’s also important to be prepared in the event of an emergency. To comply with Louisiana maritime law, all children 16 years of age or younger must wear USCG-approved personal floatation devices (PFD) while on vessels less than 26 feet in length. In addition, all boats must have at least one wearable PFD per passenger. Boaters should make sure they have a range of PFD sizes to fit different passengers based on their weights and body sizes.

Hurt in a DUI Boating Accident? Dudley DeBosier Injury Lawyers Is Here to Help.

Alcohol-related boat accidents can and often do lead to serious and disabling injuries. At Dudley DeBosier, our Louisiana boat accident attorneys know how to build strong claims for victims that get results. Get in touch with our legal team today—call us at 225-224-8465.