Godfrey, Leibsle, Blackbourn & Howarth, S.C.
Godfrey, Leibsle, Blackbourn & Howarth, S.C.

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Elkhorn, WI

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Watch out in Wisconsin for boaters who drink and “drive”

Are you raring to get your boat out and take advantage of the Wisconsin summer? So are hundreds of others. It’s a chance to get some fresh air and sunshine while maintaining a safe distance from other people.

Whether you prefer a cold beer or a chilled glass of Pinot Grigio, relaxing on a boat with a drink in your hand signals that summer has arrived. The problem is, drinking and cruising do not mix well. When you operate a boat, you are responsible for the safety of your passengers and other water users. The same alcohol limit applies to the water as to the land. If you are over that limit, you could face charges of boating under the influence (BUI).

Why do boat accidents happen on Wisconsin waterways?

Alcohol often plays a role, as does being distracted, not following the water laws, speeding and bad driving. Boaters can collide with other boaters or stationary objects, or hit a wave and flip, especially if overloaded.

People can fall overboard and drown, legs can be struck by propellers, and hands can be caught between a boat and the jetty.

What happens if you have a Wisconsin boating collision?

If someone gets injured or dies in a boat crash, or if property damage exceeds $2000, you must complete a report form. You also need to contact an attorney and your insurance company. Someone is usually negligent in a Wisconsin boating accident. Proving their negligence can be fundamental whether you are claiming for damages, injuries or the death of a loved one.

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