Alcohol and Boating Accidents

Written by Greg on May 27, 2014

With the summer here, spending time on the water with family and friends can be a wonderful day. There’s an old saying that every day on the water increases your life by one day.

Unfortunately, heavy drinking and many summer activities just don’t go well together. Drinking and driving can be disastrous on the highway and can also lead to very tragic results on the water.

According to, 12 people have died in the water in the last two weeks in Texas.

Studies have shown that over 50% of the recreational accidents on the water that turned fatal involve the use of alcohol.

Drowning Accidents

It is well known that drinking impairs one’s judgment and also encourages risk-taking, which can be disastrous for those swimming in the water. Swimmers can squirm out too far, can take chances diving in shallow water or even not realize they were in danger until it’s too late.

Boating Accidents 

Actually, fatal boating accidents involving alcohol use and a rate higher than fatal car accidents do. Almost 2/3 of the fatal boating accidents involve alcohol use. Studies have shown that the chances of being in a boating accident are greatly enhanced by whether or not the operator was drinking. Just as alcohol impacts a driver’s ability to control a car, it also impacts a boater’s judgment leading to tragic consequences.

Getting Lost 

Adding alcohol to the equation greatly increases the chance of getting lost whether on the highway or on the water. Having a designated driver is just as important for boat as it is for an automobile.

Stay Hydrated

In the brutal heat of the greater Houston area and of Texas in general in the summer, hydration is critically important for good health. Adding alcohol use can quickly lead to dehydration or even a stroke from the heat.

If you do choose to have a drink, make sure you drink a non-alcoholic drink after every alcoholic one. Providing ice tea or cold water for your group can help keep everyone hydrated and out of trouble from the heat.

The consequences for driving a boat while intoxicated are similar to those of driving a car and having an accident. The odds are greatly enhanced you will be in a serious accident if you’re intoxicated behind the wheel of the boat. The potential for serious accident increases at night.

Designate a driver for your boat and keep your passengers safe and enjoy the summer for years to come.

Visit our boating accident page here:

Posted Under: Boat Accidents

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