According to the most recent data available from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, 2011 was an especially deadly year for Florida boating accidents, with 67 people fatally injured and hundreds more requiring hospitalization. Our state leads the country every year in total number of boating accidents and people injured and killed in these accidents.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission urge boaters and their passengers to take a refresher course in boating safety for everyone’s benefit. Florida’s waterways and coasts offer some of the best recreational boating in the country. However, on too many occasions the operators of watercraft fail to honor their responsibilities and drink alcohol to the excess while on the water, don’t observe speed and wake restrictions and people are hurt and killed.
Under Florida law, it is illegal to operate a vessel of any kind while impaired by alcohol and other drugs. An operator suspected of boating under the influence must submit to sobriety tests and a physical or chemical test to determine blood-alcohol content. As with motor vehicle sobriety laws, a vessel operator is legally drunk with a blood-alcohol level of 0.08 percent or above.