States Look to Reduce Toll of Boating Accidents Caused by Drinking

Several states are taking action to reduce the number of fatalities and injuries from alcohol-related boating accidents. Alcohol is the leading contributing factor in deadly boating accidents, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.

USA Today reports that in 2010, there were 126 deaths and 293 injuries in 330 alcohol-related boating accidents in the United States. The article notes that many factors associated with boating, including heat and sunlight, magnify the effects of alcohol.

States that have taken steps to reduce alcohol-related boating accidents include Iowa and Oklahoma, which have lowered the legal blood alcohol level of a person operating a boat from .10 percent to .08 percent. North Carolina has launched a campaign called “On the Road or On the Water” to reduce both driving and boating under the influence. In Texas, judges and police work together during “no refusal” weekends to issue search warrants to draw blood from suspects who are under investigation for boating or driving drunk and who refuse to take a breath test.

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