Alcohol a Top Factor in Many Fatal Crashes Involving Recreational Boats

Alcohol plays a major role in almost 20 percent of deadly crashes that involve recreational boats, according to The Journal News.

The U.S. Coast Guard announced earlier this year that 109 of the 651 people—17 percent—who died in boat crashes nationwide last year were killed in accidents in which alcohol was the leading contributing factor.

Boat operators are considered legally intoxicated if they have a blood-alcohol content level of 0.08 percent or more.

The Coast Guard website notes alcohol has many physical effects that threaten safety and well-being on the water. Drinking impairs boaters in many ways, including affecting cognitive abilities and judgment, physical performance and vision.

“As a result of these factors, a boat operator with a blood alcohol concentration above .10 percent is estimated to be more than 10 times as likely to die in a boating accident than an operator with zero blood alcohol concentration. Passengers are also at greatly increased risk for injury and death—especially if they are also using alcohol,” the Coast Guard states.

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