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Designated Skipper Campaign Aimed at Eliminating Boating Under the Influence

Posted by copeland on May 15, 2015

Couple drinking on boat

May in the Sunshine State means lots of boats on the water, particularly as the Memorial Day holiday approaches. In fact, Florida leads the nation in the number of registered vessels - 870,749 per the latest reports. Unfortunately, the state also has the highest number of boating fatalities in the nation annually, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

Statistics show that alcohol or drug use was involved in at least 15 percent of these fatalities and the US Coast Guard estimates that boat operators with a blood alcohol concentration above 10 percent are 10 times more likely to be killed in a boating accident than boat operators who haven't been drinking. Here in Florida, drinking alcohol while boating is perfectly legal, so long as the boat's pilot isn't impaired. But keep in mind that the heat of the sun intensifies alcohol's effects on your body, hampering your balance, coordination, motor skills, vision and judgement - all significantly boosting your risk of a devastating and potentially fatal accident on the water.

If you plan to enjoy time on the water this summer, we here at Todd E. Copeland & Associates urge you to take the "Designated Skipper" pledge, part of a new national campaign designed to eliminate boating under the influence and alcohol-related accidents on the water. It's a project of the Sea Tow Foundation and funded by Coast Guard grant. Take the pledge at

If you or your family members suffer an injury or loss due to the action of an impaired or otherwise negligent boater, get medical treatment immediately. Then, contact an experienced boating accident attorney at 407-999-8995.