As summer begins, USA Today reports that states are moving to curtail a peril on the water — boating while intoxicated. Alcohol is the leading contributing factor in fatal boating accidents involving the USA’s 12.4 million registered boats, the U.S. Coast Guard says. There were 126 fatalities and 293 injuries in 330 alcohol-related boating accidents in the USA in 2010.
The Lexington, Ky.-based National Association of State Boating Law Administrators is pushing for a national marine field sobriety test standard that would enable patrol officers to test boaters while they’re seated. A number of states are moving to lower the legal blood alcohol limit for boat-operators to .08%. “It’s starting to get recognized that boating while intoxicated is just as dangerous as driving while intoxicated,” says Lt. Cody Jones, a Texas marine enforcement officer.