The Dangers Of Boating While Drinking Alcohol
The main danger of driving under the influence (DUI) is that you can crash into other road users or crash into other obstacles by the road. You face the same danger if you try boating while drunk, but crashing is just one of the man risks associated with boating while drunk. Here are the other dangers to be aware of:
Lack of Traffic Signals or Signs
On land, you can use traffic lights, lane markings, and road signs to maintain your driving safety. The markings, signs, and lights tell you when to stop, which speed you should not exceed, and whether the road ahead is dangerous. There are no such things on water, and you have to use your best judgment every second. This is difficult enough if you are doing it sober; imagine how impossible it can become if you are intoxicated and your judgment is impaired.
The Phenomenon of Boater's Hypnosis
Boater's hypnosis refers to the fatigue that boat operators experience – it slows down the reaction time of boaters almost as if they are intoxicated even when they are sober. It is believed that the hypnosis sets in because the boater's senses are lulled or deadened by different stimuli such as constant motion, heat from the sun, noise, and engine vibrations, among others. Combine boater's fatigue with actual alcohol or drugs, and you are likely to behave like a thoroughly drunk person.
Most Boats Don't Have Brakes Per Se
Another thing you should know is that small-to-medium boats do not have actual brakes. Sure, they have a mechanism for stopping; it typically involves releasing the throttle and reversing the movement of the propellers, and it can slow down the boat quickly. However, boats still don't stop as fast as cars because they continue to drift even after the throttle has been released. This means boats need more braking distance, so to speak, than cars. It is difficult to judge the safe braking distance if your judgment is already clouded with alcohol.
The Risk of Swimming Disorientation
Lastly, every boater must also worry about the risk of swimming disorientation. This occurs when water gets into your ears and interferes with your sense of balance. The risk of water getting into your ears is high if you are drinking, boating, and swimming. Add this to alcohol-induced intoxication and you have a recipe for disaster on your hands.
If you are arrested for boating while intoxicated, you have the same rights and will be prosecuted as someone arrested for DUI. Therefore, a DUI lawyer can help you with your drunk driving defense.