Call Now Open 24/7

personal injury lawyers in chicago

Proposal to Enhance Penalties for Boating Under the Influence in Florida

Florida is a water lover’s paradise because it is surrounded by water and filled with numerous lakes and rivers. Fishing, swimming, skiing and boating are all popular activities for both tourists and year-round residents. However, any type of water recreation can be dangerous when alcohol is involved.

Deaths from boating accidents – including those where alcohol was a factor – were actually down across the U.S. in 2013, except in Florida. There are nearly 880,000 registered vessels in Florida. Among states with more than 300,000, the Sunshine State has the highest boating fatality rate of 6.7 people per 100,000.

In 2014, there were almost 70 boating accidents reported in Hillsborough and Pinellas counties. Eight of the boating accidents resulted in deaths. Many of the accidents were attributed to the use of alcohol, which is why Florida lawmakers are considering stiffening the penalties for boating under the influence.

State Representative Gayle Harrell recently filed a bill that would make boating under the influence legally the same as driving under the influence. Right now in Florida, a BUI appears on a criminal record but not on a driving record. With the proposed law, penalties would be the same regardless of what type of vehicle someone was operating.

The other two states that have more than 800,000 registered vehicles, California and Minnesota, both already have laws in place similar to the one Harrell has proposed.

For first-time offenders of DUI in Florida, there is a fine of $500 to $1,000. A second offense is double that amount plus a possible jail term of up to nine months. In addition, an ignition interlock device could be placed on their vehicle.

According to law enforcement, the number of boating accidents involving alcohol actually might be much more than what is reported.

“Many times officers aren’t there when an accident actually happened,” said Lt. Seth Morgan of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s (FWC) Boating and Waterways Section. “So you’ll wind up with the situation where no one can remember who was driving, or there’s four people on the boat and none of them will say which one was operating it.”

Morgan, who is in charge of compiling boating accident statistics for the FWC, is in favor of the legislation.

“I think that would give people more pause before deciding to drink and then operate the boat,” he said. “Just anchor the boat or have someone who’s a designated driver, which is obviously the preferred method.”

Harrell’s bill is right now in a House subcommittee. If it passes, it could become law as early as July of this year.

People who act carelessly and cause accidents that harm others should be held accountable for their negligent behavior. People who have been seriously injured in such accidents may have a legal right to file a civil lawsuit seeking compensation for their losses.

If you have been injured in a boating accident caused by another boater, have a personal injury attorney at Disparti Law Group Accident & Injury Lawyers review the accident at no charge and explain your legal rights.

Read More

No Results Found

The page you requested could not be found. Try refining your search, or use the navigation above to locate the post.

Follow Us

#LARRYWINS

workers compensation attorneys in dc

The Disparti Law Group Accident & Injury Lawyers is one of the most successful law firms serving the greater Chicago and Tampa areas. As the leader in Injury, Disability, Workers’ Comp, and Employment Law, with more than $1 Billion in recoveries, The Disparti Law Group Accident & Injury Lawyers has been named One of the Most Influential Law Firms in America by Trial Lawyer Magazine.

Practice Areas

FREE CASE CONSULTATION

    Recent Posts

    CLIENT REVIEWS

    Was a great fit for me and would definitely recommend to family and friends!

     – Christine

    It has been a wonderful experience working with Disparti Law Group Accident & Injury Lawyers. They are highly recommended.

    John

    I feel you guys did a great job in handling my case.

    V. Gentry

    Very professional staff, great experience.

    Lisa

    Why Choose Us

    CONTACT LARRY

    FREE CASE EVALUATION

    YOU WON'T PAY A PENNY UNTIL LARRY WINS

      TAMPA

      1041 U.S. Highway 19
      Holiday, FL 34691
      727-600-6000

      CHICAGO

      121 W Wacker Drive, Suite 2300
      Chicago, IL 60601
      312-600-6000