As summary quickly approaches, many people head begin to head to the lake. I know I have done my fair share of hopping on a friend’s boat not paying much attention to safety measures which should be taken when getting into a boat. When driving in a car or a passenger, I always put on my seatbelt, pay attention to my surroundings, and surely wouldn’t get in a car with an overly intoxicated driver. If the car didn’t have a seat belt, I would think twice. Similarly, when you get in a boat without enough life preservers, it is not only against the law, it is dangerous and can put your or other’s lives in danger.
Similarly, as I wouldn’t get in the car with someone who is intoxicated, I am now more aware of the condition of the skipper or person operating the boat. The Oklahoma Department of Safety has described the “effect of alcohol is magnified by natural stressors that are placed on your body while boating. Dehydration combined with exposure to sun, wind and waves magnify the effect of alcohol. Research has shown that approximately one-third the amount of alcohol needed to reach a state of legal intoxication (.10% BAC in a vessel), will cause symptoms of intoxication equal to a blood-alcohol level far exceeding the true measurable level. Symptoms include: poor coordination, delayed reaction time, difficulty in multi-tasking, and inattention.
If you drink while boating, designate a non-drinking boat operator just as you would designate a non-drinking driver.