Several BUI incidents in the news are a good reminder to save the celebration for after the boat ride...
It's the holiday season.
A fun time to share a cocktail or two with friends.
But several stories have crossed our desk recently that serve as good reminders to hold off on those cocktails until after you're done boating. These stories, from all across the country, and most in the news from just the past 24 hours, show explicitly how boating under the influence can lead to arrest, loss of a job, and much worse - the loss of a life...
Earlier this week a man was sentenced to 10 years in prison for killing another man in a Delray Beach drunken boating accident back in May of 2010. The men had just met in a bar, and apparently the boat owner was trying to impress the other man's sister. That obviously did not go as planned. While the case goes through an appeal process, the 44 year old man must wear an ankle monitor and stay with his mother. (Source: sun-sentinel.com)
On Wednesday, a middle school principal from Jay, Oklahoma, was charged with manslaughter in connection with a fatal boating accident that happened on Grand Lake this past July. The 39 year old principal of 16 years, along with his 17 year old son and two other 39 year old men, were aboard a 20 foot boat - not wearing life jackets - at about 2 a.m. after a wedding reception when it struck a breakwater structure. A preliminary investigation claims that alcohol use and excessive speed contributed to the crash in which three of the four were thrown from the boat, and one of the men who went overboard was killed. The principal is currently on unpaid leave from his job. (Source: tulsaworld.com and newsok.com)
As the father of a 4 year old, this story is especially disturbing. Police say an intoxicated driver fell off his 19-foot boat on Monday in the Grand Canal in Indian Harbour Beach, and if the story ended there, it probably would not make the news. However, this particular 19-foot boat was still going, and it also still had the driver’s 4-year-old daughter onboard. The boat then careened across the Grand Canal and crashed through some trees and came to rest in a waterfront backyard. (Source: floridatoday.com)
Two men in their 20's from Ipswich, Mass, were charged this week with driving a boat while under the influence of alcohol and two counts of serious injury and negligence stemming from a boating accident this past summer. While details of the crash are sketchy, there were three adults thrown overboard, two men injured, one of whom is a police officer. Both boats that collided were approximately 20 ft center consoles, and one of the injuries occurred while a man was trying to retrieve one of the empty boats before it caused further injuries.(Source: salemnews.com)
And just last Friday, the AP reported that a Finnish court acquitted former Formula One driver JJ Lehto of drunken driving in a boat accident that killed his friend. According to the article, Lehto, who was injured in the accident, says he remembers little about it because he had been drinking for several days. (Source: ktvu.com)