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Alcohol a Factor in Virginia Boat Crash

Posted on August 23, 2011 to

Thomas McWeeny

A 22-foot boat collided head-on with a stone jetty late last month in Urbanna Creek, according to a report at wtkr.com. The boat accident sent five people to area hospitals with injuries ranging from broken bones to cuts and head injuries.

The accident happened around 5:15 a.m., according to Virginia Marine Police. Emergency responders took some of the victims to VCU, while rescue workers took the other victims to Walter Reed Hospital. Investigators think alcohol may have played a role in the boating accident.

According to the American Boating Association, boating while intoxicated (BWI) is the leading cause of fatal boating accidents. Boat operators with a blood alcohol level of .10 percent or higher are 10 times more likely to die in a boating accident. What boaters fail to realize is that people in boats become impaired faster than when on land. The water motion, vibration, engine noise, sun and wind accelerate a drinker’s impairment.

In addition, the majority of boaters are recreational boaters and are not accustomed to daily boat operations. The average boater averages about 110 hours per year on the water. That figure is less in colder climates.

Koonz, McKenney, Johnson, DePaolis & Lightfoot, L.L.P.

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