Alabama Danger: Boating While Drinking

Jul 1, 2022 | Allen A. Ritchie

boating safety


It’s hot, it’s the fourth, and it’s time to take drinking and boating seriously.

Here is the bottom line: Alabama and federal law enforcement has had enough of drinking and boating. You may have been able to get away with some unsafe activities during holiday’s past, but I would not chance it this year. In fact, the U.S. Congress has recognized drugs and alcohol as a significant problem on the water.

Here are some sobering facts:

  • Roughly half of all boating accidents involve alcohol or drugs.
  • Each year, boating accidents claim more lives than airplane or train accidents. Plus, there are many more people injured by boating accidents.
  • The U.S. Coast Guard estimates the number of boating accidents to be around 5,000 per year.
  • Boating property loss due to accidents is $62 million per year.
  • Waterways are second only to highways as the scene of accidental deaths in the U.S.

I deal with people injured on the water, and it can be tragic. Here are some tips I have come across that may make this weekend safer for you and the people you love.

  • Take along a lot of non-alcoholic beverages as an alternative.
  • If you want to make alcohol a part of the day, plan a party ashore. This provides time between the fun and getting back in the boat.
  • Spread the word about the dangers of boating while intoxicated. My guess is you have heard of drinking boaters who have hit bridges, other boats, or even run over swimmers.

Let me be a lawyer for a few seconds. A boat is a vehicle. Operating it safely is both a legal and personal responsibility.

Have a wonderful and safe 4th of July. It is a great country, and we should all celebrate our freedom … safely.

If you suffer from a personal injury like an auto/railroad wreck, wrongful death claim, or slip and fall, you can talk to us at the Law Firm of Eiland and Ritchie for free. We want to help you get back on your feet.

Also, join us on NBC 15 LawCall here in Mobile every Sunday night at 10:30, right after the news. We will take your calls live. We do like answering your questions. We also have lawyers standing by at our offices on Monday mornings.

Allen Ritchie

Mobile Personal Injury Attorney