Oakland County Michigan may be one of the most affluent counties in Michigan that The Joseph Dedvukaj personal injury law firm serves However, as pointed out by Metromode there is a serious debate about whether Oakland County has 358 lakes or as many as 1468 lakes. Regardless of the number of lakes Oakland County Michigan has, it certainly has some motorboat accidents.
Michigan law prohibits (Michigan complied laws annotated 324.80176) operating a motorboat while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Michigan has two general classifications of boating under the influence alcohol or drugs:
The potential penalties an offender faces depend on which classification he or she is convicted of.
BUIs Involving Injuries or Death
An offender who causes "serious impairment of a body function of another person" while operating a motorboat under the influence is guilty of a felony and faces a prison sentence of up to five years and/or fines ranging from $1,000 to $10,000.
Where a boater causes the death of another person while operating a motorboat under the influence, the offense is a felony and carries up to 15 years in prison and/or fines from $2,500 to $10,000.
For boaters convicted of a BUI involving serious impairment or death, the law requires an indefinite suspension of the person's privilege to operate a motorboat.
Michigan has enacted laws regarding driving a motorboat while intoxicated, Michigan also penalizes Boating Under the Influence (BUI). Unfortunately, the nature of water-based activities can make it difficult to enforce the laws, so marine accidents involving alcohol are still a common problem. According to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR), drunk or drugged boat operation plays a role in around 23% of boating fatalities. With the Memorial Day and Fourth of July 2022 coming fast and Michigan’s water-based fun being part of the celebrations, you can be sure that the risk of BUI accidents will be high.
Victims do have legal options after being injured in a boating accident caused by impairment or any other form of negligence. A Michigan boat accident lawyer can review your circumstances and explain the laws, since you may qualify for compensation. However, our personal injury boat accident law firm believe it’s wise to review some additional data to protect yourself and your family over the 2022 Memorial Day and Fourth of July weekends.
Probably the biggest threat to your safety in a boat collision is the fact that can fall in the water and drown. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources confirms the following watercraft boating accident data:
Succinctly, the effects of alcohol impair a person’s ability to safely operate a boat in the same way as it impacts the driver of a car. Even small amounts of alcohol can result in cognitive impairment for good judgment, behavior, perception, and reaction time. The physical consequences can also be severe, including impairing coordination and blurry vision.
Boat operating conditions on the water generally require clear visibility and good decision-making. Additionally, unlike a land motor vehicle, a boat operator must be in good physical condition to control the boat. When a personal watercraft operator is impaired, even an experienced boater may be unable to maintain balance and steer the watercraft safely. Occupants of the vessel are in danger risk, but so are other boaters, swimmers, and water users of the lakes.
The threat of BUI is concerning with the 2022 Memorial Day and Fourth of July celebrations coming up later this year, but it is encouraging to know that you have legal remedies if you are injured in a boating accident. Our boat accident team at The Joseph Dedvukaj Firm, P.C., located in Oakland County MI can assist with pursuing your legal rights, so please feel free to contact our firm at 855-HIRE-JOE to schedule a free consultation at our offices in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan.