Call Now For A Free Consultation 24/7 (941) 954-1234

Why Boating And Drinking Don’t Mix

With more Floridians heading to the water for summer fun and some relief from the heat, it is important for boaters to be aware of the dangers of drinking alcohol on the boat.

In fact, it is estimated that half of all accidents and fatalities that occur in the water are due to alcohol. Drinking while on the water can also greatly increase the risk of dehydration especially when combined with sun exposure, boat vibrations, and constant motion. That aside, alcohol impairs a boater’s vision, balance, decision making skills and reaction time.


This occurs more easily when drinking out on the boat because perspiration eliminates the body fluids, but the alcohol will remain in your system. This means that while you are out in the hot sun, all the water in your body is being used up to keep you cool, leaving behind only the alcohol which cannot hydrate you. Unless you are switching between a can of beer with a bottle of water, your body will quickly become dehydrated before too long.

Some dehydration symptoms for you to look out for include:

  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Moderate to extreme thirst
  • Sleepiness or tiredness

During extreme dehydration, you may also begin to see symptoms such as fever, rapid heartbeat, rapid breathing, and delirium. While many of these symptoms may not necessary indicate dehydration, it never hurts to have a few extra drinks of water.

Impaired Ability And Reaction Time

The boat’s operator is liable for the safety of everyone on board. However, if the boat’s operator has had a drink or two, they will not have the ability or reaction time necessary to do so. For example, what if another boat was heading too close to your own boat? Normally, you would have the reaction time and problem solving skills to turn the boat the other way and protect you and your passengers. However, after a few glasses, by the time you even realize there is another boat, you will be too slow physically and mentally to do the same.

Intoxicated passengers, as well as boat operators, are also at greater risk of falling overboard which could result in hypothermia or drowning. So even if the boat operator is not the one drinking, it could greatly increase their risk of injury.

Safety Tips To Remember

In order to keep you and your passengers safe on the boat this summer, here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  • Do not drink alcohol and operate a boat
  • Make sure to take plenty of non-alcoholic drinks and snacks along
  • Everyone on the boat should be wearing a life jacket that fits them properly, especially children under 12
  • Always carry the necessary safety gear and be knowledgeable in how to use it
  • Keep an eye on the weather before heading out to ensure no dangerous storms or winds come your way
  • If you do not know how to swim, learn how beforehand
  • Take a boating safety course offered by a local marina or the American Red Cross
  • If possible, make sure to have a second person who knows how to operate the boat and proper boating safety on board in case the original operator is ill, injured or otherwise incapacitated

Attorney David Goldman has a strong belief that everyone should be treated fairly and those with the means should do what they can to bring justice in all areas of our society. That belief has led him to help Florida's injured from being taken advantage of by corporations and insurance companies. Since 1989 David Goldman has been fighting for the rights of Floridians both as an attorney and by personally supporting our community.

Why Boating And Drinking Don’t Mix

Goldman Babboni Fernandez
Murphy & Walsh

Attorney Case Review
Get The Justice
You Deserve

Free Attorney Consultation

Law offices
Near you

Serving All Of Southwest Florida