Everyone knows that Pennsylvania has laws that prohibit driving while intoxicated. But, did you know that the Keystone State also outlaws boating while intoxicated? Like DWI convictions, a boating while intoxicated conviction can have a severe legal and financial impact on violators. And, like DWI, boating while intoxicated can be the basis of civil liability for a person who hurts another person while operating under the influence.
Many of the injuries caused by intoxicated boating happens on the major summer holidays. Although these days have passed for this year, there are still boats out there, as well as people who have had too much to drink. The water can be an especially dangerous environment for intoxicated operation. Things such as sun, wind, glare, noise and waves can cause a lot of disorientation for the operator of a boat. If alcohol or drugs are added to the mix, the makings of an injurious or even fatal boating accident are present.
The laws against boating while intoxicated exist in order to prevent people from being injured or killed by intoxicated boat operators. This means that if an intoxicated boat operator kills another person, that person's family may be able to use the operator's intoxication to help prove liability in a cause of action for wrongful death. If a boat operator violated Pennsylvania's laws against intoxicated boating, this could be used against the boat operator in a civil trial.
If an intoxicated boat operator causes injury to another person, the victim or their family may have legal options to recover compensation from the operator.