Florida weather allows for boating almost year-round. Boating is often associated with alcohol, as boaters love soaking up the sun with a beer or cocktail in hand. While it is not illegal for of-age passengers to drink while on a boat, operators cannot drive a boat while under the influence. Here is what you need to know about drinking and boating in Florida.

Can You Drink While on a Boat in Florida?

In Florida, you are allowed to drink as a passenger on a boat if you’re at least 21 or older. Nonetheless, it is illegal to operate a boat if you’re intoxicated.

Florida law is similar for vehicle drivers and boat operators. Under Florida law, a person with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or greater is considered under the influence. A person under 21 cannot have any alcohol in their system at all while operating a boat.

Just as with drinking and driving a car, drinking can severely affect a person’s ability to operate a boat. Alcohol can reduce the normal function of the brain, impact muscle coordination, and impair focus, vision, and thinking.

BUI and Consequences of Boating While Impaired

A person who drives a boat while impaired faces charges for boating under the influence (BUI) and legal penalties, including fines and prison time. Penalties depend on the details of the situation and the operator’s history. These repercussions can have a negative impact on a person’s life and future.

Aside from the legal consequences, boating while impaired significantly increases the chances of accidents. A boat operator’s negligence can result in collisions with other boaters or individuals in the water, resulting in severe injuries, and sometimes even death. 

Common Injuries Resulting From Drunk Boat Driving Accidents

Boating accidents regularly lead to catastrophic injuries, especially when alcohol is involved. This is because impaired boat operators typically speed and engage in other dangerous behaviors that increase the severity of impact. 

Injuries common to boating accidents in Clearwater include:

Additionally, injuries from boating collisions usually require extensive medical care and rehabilitation, and even then, victims may not have the opportunity to fully recover. In the most unfortunate cases, boating accident victims succumb to their injuries. 

Recovering Compensation for a Boating Collision

If you’re involved in a boat accident, you may have the chance to recover financially for your injuries and other related losses. By filing a claim, you can pursue compensation for things like:

If you’ve lost a loved one in a boat crash, you may have a claim for wrongful death. Under a wrongful death claim, you can seek monetary recovery for the loss of your loved one.

Navigating a boat accident case can be challenging. A personal injury lawyer can provide much-needed guidance to help ensure you get the compensation you need and deserve. 

How a Personal Injury Attorney Can Help After Boating Accidents

While operating a boat while intoxicated is illegal in Florida, drunk boating accidents, unfortunately, still happen. If you or a loved one has suffered injuries in a boating accident involving alcohol, it is vital to speak with a personal injury attorney. A lawyer can investigate your accident and help you seek justice for the harm you’ve suffered. Whether you’re filing a personal injury lawsuit or wrongful death claim, your attorney can advocate on your behalf throughout your case. Allowing a personal injury lawyer to represent you gives you the best opportunity to obtain the fair compensation you need.

Contact a Clearwater Boat Accident Law Firm of Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers for Help Today

For more information, please contact today the legal team at Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers for a free initial consultation with a boat accident lawyer in Clearwater, FL.

We serve throughout Florida in Clearwater, New Port Richey, and Tampa:

Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers – Clearwater Office
1811 N. Belcher Road, Suite I-1
Clearwater, FL 33765
(727) 787-2500

Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers – Congress Ave Office
2360 Congress Avenue
Clearwater, FL 33763
(727) 591-5610

Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers – Tampa Office
6601 Memorial Hwy Suite 202
Tampa, FL 33615
(813) 686-7588

Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers – New Port Richey Office
2515 Seven Springs Blvd.
New Port Richey, FL, 34655
(727) 815-8442