Operation Dry Water Combats Boating While Intoxicated Nationwide

boating while intoxicated, San Antonio criminal defense attorneyAs the summer solstice quickly approaches, set to reach the western hemisphere on June 21 at 12:24 a.m., those in temperate regions look forward to welcoming the warmth of sun-filled longer days. For boaters, in particular, it signifies yet another enjoyable season on the open water but perhaps not without consequences. At last count, more than 88 million U.S. adults participated in recreational boating but owning or operating a recreational watercraft comes with responsibilities. When a boat operator is under the influence of drugs or alcohol, serious personal injuries, fatalities and possible criminal charges can shorten the longest of summer days. 

The U.S. Coast Guard reports that, in 2014, there were 5.2 boating fatalities per 100,000 registered recreational vessels nationwide. Many of these deaths were attributed, at least to some degree, to operators choosing to boat while under the influence of alcohol or illegal substances. To combat these alarming statistics, the partners of Operation Dry Water (ODW) work diligently to promote awareness of the dangers of boating while under the influence or BWI.

Summer Campaign Planned 

Although the 2016 annual kick-off of the Heightened Enforcement Week campaign is scheduled for June 24 through the 26, ODW works year-round to reduce the number of alcohol or substance-related accidents and fatalities through increased boater awareness and by promoting highly visible deterrents to boating under the influence. The ODW asks all recreational boat owners and operators to join and support the efforts of ODW by pledging never to operate a boat while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. They also urge boaters to share and discuss the seriousness of BWI and to spread the word to aid in their efforts to decrease the number of BWI associated injuries and fatalities.

Taking the Pledge 

The Pledge is simple but powerful as ODW asks boats to unite and vow to:

  • Never drink and drive a boat;
  • Never be intoxicated on a boat;
  • Never be irresponsible;
  • Never endanger myself or others;
  • Never damage a boat;
  • Never risk injury or death;
  • Never boat while under the influence.

If you currently reside in Texas and are gearing up for the upcoming 2016 boating season, it is imperative to note that at last count, there are more than 200 BWI instances reported each year, with many of them leading to accidents resulting in an injury or death.

As per Texas Parks and Wildlife, any Texas resident who appears to be impaired or has a blood alcohol level of 0.08 or higher can be arrested and criminally charged under BWI criteria. Those placed under arrest may be jailed up to 180 days, face a fine of up to $2,000 and possibly have their driver’s license automatically suspended.

If you reside in Central or South Texas and recently been involved in a boating accident and facing BWI criminal charges, skilled San Antonio criminal defense attorney, Sam H. Lock would like to discuss your case. Attorney Lock, a well respected, committed and determined legal professional with over ten years of experience will be responsible for your criminal legal defense from beginning to end. Contact the Law Offices of Sam H. Lock to schedule your consultation today.

 

Sources:

http://www.almanac.com/content/first-day-summer-2016-summer-solstice

http://www.statista.com/topics/1138/recreational-boating/

https://www.uscgboating.org/library/accident-statistics/Recreational-Boating-Statistics-2014.pdf

http://www.operationdrywater.org/

http://tpwd.texas.gov/education/boater-education/additional-resources/boating-facts

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