Boating is a popular recreational activity in Texas, but it can also be dangerous if safety precautions are not followed. A significant number of boat collisions are caused by operator error or negligence, which can lead to serious injuries or even fatalities. In this blog post, we will discuss the common causes of boat collisions, how to prevent them, and the legal remedies available if you find yourself facing a boating under the influence (BUI) charge or other criminal charges related to a boat collision.
Common Causes of Boat Collisions
According to the U.S. Coast Guard, the most common causes of boat collisions include:
- Inattention or improper lookout
- Operator inexperience
- Excessive speed
- Alcohol or drug use
- Violation of navigation rules
It is essential to be aware of these factors and take the necessary steps to avoid boat collisions and ensure the safety of everyone on board.
Here are some tips to help prevent boat collisions:
- Stay alert and maintain a proper lookout: Always pay attention to your surroundings and watch for other boats, swimmers, or obstacles in the water. Assign a designated lookout if necessary, especially in crowded or unfamiliar areas.
- Take a boating safety course: The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department offers boating safety courses that can help you become a more knowledgeable and confident boat operator.
- Follow navigation rules: Familiarize yourself with the “rules of the road” for boating, which can be found in the U.S. Coast Guard’s Navigation Rules and Regulations Handbook. These rules help prevent collisions by establishing guidelines for boat operators to follow in various situations.
- Don’t drink and boat: Just like driving a car, operating a boat while under the influence of alcohol or drugs is illegal and dangerous. In Texas, the legal limit for boating under the influence (BUI) is a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher.
- Maintain a safe speed: Always operate your boat at a speed that is safe for the conditions, taking into account factors such as visibility, boat traffic, and weather.
Legal Remedies for BUI and Other Boat Collision-Related Charges
If you find yourself facing a BUI charge or other criminal charges related to a boat collision, it is essential to seek the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney. At Scott H. Palmer, P.C., our team of skilled attorneys can help you navigate the legal process and protect your rights. Here are some of the services we offer:
- Reviewing the evidence against you and building a strong defense strategy
- Challenging the validity of field sobriety tests, breathalyzer results, or other evidence
- Negotiating with prosecutors to reduce or dismiss charges
- Representing you in court and advocating for the best possible outcome
Boat collisions can have severe consequences, both physically and legally. By following the prevention tips discussed in this blog post and seeking the assistance of a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney if you face charges, you can help ensure a safe and enjoyable boating experience for yourself and others.