Fatal Accidents Highlight Importance of Safe and Sober Boating
In the latest Oklahoma boat bang-up, a 30-year-old driver traveling at about 30 miles per hour on Lake Eufaula struck two anchored boats and left the scene of the accident. While the anchored boats’ lights were on, the ski boat collided with first boat, launching it onto the second boat. The accident claimed the life of one victim, who wasn’t found for two days after the accident. The ski boat’s three passengers were unharmed and the driver finally turned himself in several days after the accident.
Boats and bottles don’t mix
Whether or not the driver in this case was intoxicated remains unknown; however, his record includes a series of alcohol-related charges including driving under the influence, public intoxication and transporting an open container. In other recent boating fatalities, alcohol clearly played a part.
This includes a Tulsa man who was recently charged with first-degree manslaughter for his role in the boating deaths of two young people. In this case, the crash report indicated that alcohol, excessive speed and driver error were at play, with the driver’s blood alcohol level registering twice the legal limit. In total, the driver consumed shot of tequila, 10 beers and a nonprescribed antidepressant prior to the accident. One of the victims was a former Miss Teen Oklahoma.
Criminal charges and fines of up to $2,500 may await those who pilot boats dangerously. Operating a boat on Oklahoma waters is considered implied consent to be tested for drugs and alcohol by peace officers and refusal to take tests is admissible as evidence at trial. This may not be drunken boaters’ only woe, as civil lawsuits seeking major damages often are filed.
Qualified personal injury attorneys can help those with boating collision injuries from drowning in medical debts after the accident.