Boating Accidents & Alcohol

April 10, 2020

With summer almost here and social distancing the new norm during the COVID-19 pandemic, spending time on the water with your immediate family may seem like a safe outdoor activity. Unfortunately, drinking and driving can be a tragedy on the water as well as on the highway.

According to Statista, 633 people died, and 2,511 were injured in boating accidents in 2018 alone. Studies have shown that over 50% of all water accidents involve the use of alcohol. In addition, boat drivers with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) above 0.10% are ten times more likely to be killed in a boating accident than those who have no alcohol in their blood.

Drowning Accidents

Drinking impairs judgment and encourages high-risk behavior. This can be disastrous for those who are swimming or diving into the water. Swimmers may swim out too far, exhaust easier, or may dive into shallow water.

Boating Accidents

Alcohol-related fatal boating accidents happen at a higher rate than fatal car accidents involving alcohol. Almost two-thirds of all fatal boating accidents involve alcohol use.


The combination of heat, wind, and alcohol quickly leads to dehydration and sometimes heat stroke. It’s essential to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated and attentive to constantly changing water conditions. Providing iced tea or cold water for your group can help keep everyone hydrated and safe.

Common Types of Boating Accidents

  • Crashes by intoxicated boat operators
  • Slip and fall injuries resulting from passengers slipping on wet floors, stairs, tripping over defective parts of the boat, overlooking gaps and raised areas or falling out of a boat due to low guardrails
  • Cruise ships, yachts and similar vessels that serve alcohol on-board and do not properly cut off highly-intoxicated passengers
  • Underage drinking and boating

Driving a boat while intoxicated can significantly increase the risk that you will be in a severe accident. You should consider designating a sober experienced boat driver to keep you and your passengers safe. Boating under the influence is illegal and dangerous.

Contact a Personal Injury Attorney

If you have been involved in a boating accident, let an experienced personal injury lawyer evaluate your case. The attorneys at Saladino & Schaaf have years of experience representing boating accident victims. Contact Saladino & Schaaf today or call us at 270-444-0406 (Paducah Office) or 270-753-1529 (Murray Office) to schedule a free consultation. You may be entitled to compensation for your injuries, but the clock is ticking.




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Boating Accident while Intoxicated




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