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Rage on Water: Boating Under the Influence

By Edited Feb 15, 2016 1 2

Robert Ray Huizenga, son of Blockbuster Entertainment CEO H. Wayne Huizenga who also used to own the baseball team Florida Marlins and NHL team Florida Panthers, and is currently a part owner of NFL team Miami Dolphins, was sentenced to two years in jail for boating under influence. The young Huizenga had three other drunk-driving cases under his belt prior to the boating incident.

He was still serving probation for injuring a pedestrian in 2003 when he was found drunk while driving his boat last year. He docked at a house that he thought was his own, which prompted the real owners to call the police, thinking that they were being robbed.

As odd as it sounds, drunken boat driving is also grounds for a DUI case. According to the US Coast Guard, "alcohol is more hazardous on water than on land." In fact, in 2008, alcohol use is regarded as the leading factor in fatal boating accidents with 17 percent. The Coast Guard estimates that annually, there are 60,000 non-fatal boating accidents that occur with damages amounting to more than $240 million. In 2008, there are reported 4,789 accidents that involved 709 deaths, 3,331 injuries, and approximately $54 million dollars of damage during recreational boating accidents. Waterways are now second to highways as the scene of accidental deaths.

Authorities can pull over the operator of a boat or watercraft if he is suspected of boating under the influence. Officials can now also set up checkpoints on the water to make sure that the boater is not drunk or under the influence of drugs. In Delaware, officials can even board the boat of a suspicious boater without probable cause. Some states have also passed bills against drunken boating.

The average blood alcohol content limit for drunken boating is 0.08 BAC while in other states, it can go up to 0.10 percent. Anything beyond that will qualify for a boating under the influence case. It may already alter the physical and mental abilities of a boater. Add prolonged heat, noise, wind, glare, and the motion of the boat on water, and it will definitely sum up to what is normally called as a "boater's fatigue".

To avoid getting arrested for BUI, control your alcohol intake. Do not attempt to drive the boat if you have had some drinks; let someone who is not drunk do the driving. Be aware of the boating laws and regulations in your area. Also, be ready in case of emergency: keep life vests or floating devices at reach.



Jul 23, 2010 5:49pm
You have some really great articles posted, Mesriani, keep up the great work. These boating under the influence ones are very interesting, and you're a very talented writer! Thumbs up!
May 19, 2011 8:23am
Good info, people should be more responsible when boating.
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