Boat Accidents

Texas boasts numerous lakes and an entire coastline to be enjoyed, and what better way
to enjoy them than on a boat. But a recreation that is almost always enjoyed alongside
alcohol can turn deadly in a moment.

Boating and Alcohol

Alcohol and boats are a deadly combination, but unfortunately all too common. The
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department reports that the chance of being killed in a boating
accident doubles when alcohol is involved. Unlike with cars, it is legal to have an open
container on a boat. However, both drivers and passengers are subject to alcohol laws. A
blood alcohol level of 0.08 is considered intoxicated. Also, public intoxication laws must
be obeyed.

We are all aware of the dangers of drinking and driving. But because open containers are
legal on boats, you might not consider how serious operating a boat while intoxicated is.

First, most people drive their cars everyday. There is comfort and familiarity in the
process. Very few people however drive boats very often. Alcohol leads to diminished
judgment and functioning, neither of which is safe while operating a boat.

Second, boats respond very differently than cars. Boats do not have a brake function akin
to that in a car, so it can be challenging to slow a boat down in a safe manner.

Third, there are no speed limits to follow on the water as there are on the road. It is very
easy for an intoxicated boat operator to overestimate his ability to drive safely at high
speeds. Excessive speeds can lead to collisions or capsizing, putting everyone’s safety at

Boater Education Courses

Boater education courses are not required in order to operate a boat unless an individual
was born on or after September 1, 1993. However, there are many advantages to taking
such a course if you operate a boat often, the main advantage being safety.
Courses cover tips on navigating the boat, handling accidents and emergencies, basic
water safety, etc.

Types of Accidents

According to the United States Coast Guard, the following are the top five types of

  • Collision with a Recreational Vehicle
  • Collision with a Fixed Object
  • Flooding
  • Skier Mishap
  • Capsizing

If you have been involved in a boating accident, contact a Houston boat accident lawyer at Kirkendall Dwyer LLP for a free case evaluation. An experienced attorney can consider the circumstances of your accident and give you immediate answers as to the best course of action.