Boating is a pastime Louisiana residents engage in as a method of unwinding. With the calm blue water and slight waves rocking a boat, those fortunate enough to be near the water often find themselves going out on a boat as the weather improves. With relaxing and enjoyment comes alcohol and with alcohol comes an increased chance of a recreational boating accident.

Just like driving while under the influence of alcohol is prohibited in the state, operating a vessel is also considered illegal. This means if someone’s blood alcohol concentration level is 0.08 percent or more, they are going to be considered intoxicated if they are over the age of 21 and if they are under the age of 21, anything over 0.02 percent is going to be considered against the law. The law doesn’t just look to the operator of the vessel to act responsible, it also requires that the owner or operator of a vessel not knowingly allow someone who is intoxicated or under the influence of drugs to operate the vessel. Additionally, if someone’s driving license has been revoked because of a DUI, then their boating privileges are considered to have suffered the same fate.

Just like driving intoxicated slows down a driver’s reflexes, a boat operator is also not considered alert and responsive if they are under the influence of alcohol. They are also more likely to react slowly if someone does fall overboard and to take more risks in the form of not wearing one’s life jacket.

Recreational boating is supposed to be relaxing, but it can alter the course of one’s life if someone is injured or lost in an accident. Though nothing can quantify the trauma one goes through in such an accident, it is possible to quantify the medical expenses and lost wages that result. A personal injury lawsuit may be one way for compensation.