Drinking and driving is a common problem across the country that causes thousands of car crashes each year. However, a problem that most people are unaware about is the dangers of drinking and boating. It seems almost natural for boaters to drink while enjoying their time out on the water. Nonetheless, the boat’s driver must still operate a large motorized vehicle, which comes with many inherent dangers. When you add intoxication to this mix, you increase the risk of danger to yourself, your passengers, and any other boat in the vicinity. This can lead to serious accidents that may cause injuries, and in the worst cases, death.
The West Palm Beach TV station, NBC 5, recently reported on the ongoing investigation and trial, regarding a boat crash in September of 2016. The driver, Thomas Baker, crashed the vessel into the shore and overturned it, after having several long island iced teas. Although the driver was the individual who reported the accident, the police decided to change the accident investigation into a criminal investigation due to Baker’s level of intoxication after the crash. In recent months, Baker has filed a lawsuit against the Town of Palm Beach, under the premise that he was not aware that the investigation had become criminal, and the police failed to read him his Miranda rights at the time of the crash. However, a federal judge recently dropped this case as Baker was not the owner of the boat he was driving. Baker’s case will go to trial in March of 2018 to determine the cause of the crash and what penalties he may receive as a consequence.
In the case of Thomas Baker’s accident, thankfully, no one was injured, and only the boat he was driving was damaged. However, had Baker been in open water or near other people or boats and lost control of his vehicle, he could have caused serious harm to himself and others. While it does seem reasonable for Baker to be upset at the direction his case has taken, he is also fully deserving of this investigation as he was boating while intoxicated. Many people do not seem to take the dangers of boating under the influence very seriously because they believe that they can do so safely. This is the same logic, however, that many intoxicated drivers use, and it often results in serious accidents. Careless boaters, like Baker, must understand the danger that they put themselves and others in when they choose to drink and boat.
Although no one was injured in Thomas Baker’s boat crash, many other accidents of this sort have a grave impact on other people. They can cause physical harm, emotional pain, and financial loss, depending on the severity of the accident. Fortunately for individuals who are hurt by drunken boaters, a West Palm Beach personal injury lawyer can help them recover from these losses. They can receive compensation for any of the damages caused by these boaters and begin to recover from this tragic accident.