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Newport News, Virginia (VA), law enforcement officers have taken a firmer approach to controlling unsafe actions by recreational boaters, cracking down on drunken boating incidents. Boating while intoxicated can be very dangerous because vessels do not contain brakes. In addition, it is difficult to discriminate between other boats’ lights and the shoreline backlighting during the night.

The U.S. Coast Guard reports that boating under the influence of alcohol or accounts 17 percent of boating fatalities. In addition, according to the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators, officers issued 7,500 safety warnings during the nationwide Operation Dry Water in 2010.

Accoring to the Daily Press, many boaters, like Nelson Furman, of Charlotte, North Carolina (NC), for instance, avoid exiting the marina on weekends and holidays to limit their contact with unsafe boaters. “A lot of people out on weekends at least act like they don’t know what they’re doing with a boat,” Furman told the newspaper. He believes requiring licenses for piloting boats would be the best approach to put an end to boating accidents.

As a Newport News, Virginia (VA) personal injury lawyer, I deal with many cases where boaters and others enjoying water activities have been severely injured by drunk boaters. I am glad to see that officials are addressing this negligent and dangerous risk taking by some reckless folks on the water.


About the Editors: The Shapiro, Cooper, Lewis & Appleton personal injury law firm, which has offices in Virginia (VA) and North Carolina (NC), edits the injury law blogs Virginia Beach Injuryboard, Norfolk Injuryboard and Northeast North Carolina Injuryboard as pro bono services.

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