Austin police and Texas game wardens have stepped up their patrols on the water in response to a dramatic increase in injuries and deaths on area lakes due to boating under the influence of alcohol. “Operation Dry Water” was launched as a nationwide initiative in 2009 and has seen a 3% decline in deaths on the nation’s waters.
Last year, Austin police saw a decline in BWI arrests as the boating season went on. This is attributed to boaters noticing the increased patrols and arrests. Although BWI carries the same penalties as DWI, boating accidents can be much more dangerous, according to Austin Police Sergeant Glen Kreger. This is because boats are not built to handle impact and do not have safety features such as air bags and seat belts. Landing in water with an injury can be far more serious than being ejected from a car and landing on pavement.
Austin boating accident attorneys have seen some serious injuries that have occurred on the water. Not all boating injuries are caused by alcohol consumption on the water. Many accidents are caused by inexperienced operators. Many injuries and deaths could have been prevented by the use of safety gear and common sense safety practices. Do not operate a boat after drinking. Learn boating laws. Be sure everyone who will be on the boat knows how to swim. Make sure everyone on the boat is wearing a personal life vest rated for their size. And if you need a boating attorney, it is imperative that you contact Terry & Kelly, PLLC immediately. When an accident occurs, time is of the essence. Delay can cost you thousands.
Boating Safety Tips: In recent years, there has been an increase in the number of boat accidents in the Austin, Texas area. As a result, there has been a significant rise in the number of people injured in boating accidents during that same time period.
Boating safety in Austin. According to Texas.gov, the most common citations given to boaters are for not having enough life jackets on board or children under 13 not wearing life jackets. Nearly 85 percent of people who drown are not wearing a life jacket.