A 48-year-old East Northport man has been charged with boating while intoxicated in connection with a powerboat crash at the entrance of James Creek in Mattituck. According to a Newsday report, officials filed charges against the boat’s operator after the incident, which claimed the life of a 27-year-old woman and seriously injured three other occupants including the boat operator.
The powerboat crashed into a bulkhead west of the entrance to the creek the night of Nov. 10. Police said four people were on board the Cobalt powerboat when it struck the bulkhead about 50 yards from the entrance to James Creek on Great Peconic Bay. The injured woman was pronounced dead at a local hospital. Two other injured passengers were airlifted to a regional hospital.
The two passengers were a 41-year-old man and a 29-year-old woman. Police said the crash was under investigation. On Monday, Senator Jim Gaughran, D-Northport, called for the passage of his proposed legislation that would revoke the driver’s license of anyone who is convicted of boating while intoxicated. We offer our deepest condolences to the family of the victim here and the other passengers injured in this horrific accident.
Boating Under the Influence
New York law prohibits anyone from operating a boat or vessel while impaired by alcohol and/or drugs. Under the law, an individual is considered to be boating while intoxicated if his or her blood alcohol concentration is 0.08 percent or higher, the same legal limit for driving a motor vehicle while impaired. Boat operators under 21 years of age also subject to zero tolerance penalties. Zero tolerance is enforced for underage individuals whose blood alcohol concentration is between 0.02 percent and 0.07 percent.
Why is boating under the influence dangerous? Alcohol affects judgment, vision, balance and coordination. These impairments increase the likelihood of accidents for both passengers and boat operators. According to data from the U.S. Coast Guard, in boating deaths involving alcohol use, more than half the victims capsized their boats and/or fell overboard. Consuming alcohol can be even more dangerous on the water than on land.
According to the Coast Guard, “the marine environment motion, vibration, engine noise, sun, wind and spray accelerate a drinker’s impairment,” and these stressors cause fatigue that makes a boat operator’s coordination, judgment and reaction time decline even faster when using alcohol. In addition, alcohol can be more dangerous to boaters who are less experienced and less confident on the water.
There are number of physical side effects linked to the use of alcohol. When a boat operator consumes alcohol, he may lose his cognitive abilities and judgment making it more difficult to process information, evaluate situations and make good choices. Physical performance becomes impaired manifesting in balance issues, lack of coordination and delayed reaction. Vision is affected including decreased peripheral vision, reduced depth perception, poor focus and problem distinguishing between colors. According to the U.S. Coast Guard, a boat operator with a blood alcohol concentration above 0.10 percent is estimated to be more than 10 times as likely to die in a boating accident than an operator with zero blood alcohol concentration. Passengers also face a heightened risk for injury and death, especially if they are also using alcohol.
Contacting an Experienced Lawyer
If you or a loved one has been injured in a boating accident, or if you have lost a loved one in an auto accident caused by a negligent (careless) driver, the experienced New York personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Kenneth A. Wilhelm can help you better understand your legal rights and options, and also fight hard to recover just compensation for you.
For over 48 years, our skilled accident attorneys have established a proven track record of helping injured victims get fair compensation for their losses. Our law firm recently recovered $5,600,000 for a bicyclist who was hit by a van, and $2,550,000 for another victim of a truck accident, and $3,000,000 for a pedestrian who was hit by a car, and the full $1,000,000 insurance policy for a pedestrian who was hit by a truck, and $4,625,000 for a driver who was in a car and was hit by a van, and $2,500,000 for a man who fell through an improperly secured hole. Also, one of our clients obtained a verdict for $43,940,000 and another of our clients got a verdict for $23,500,000, both in medical malpractice cases.
Please contact us TOLL FREE 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-800-WORK-4-YOU (1-800-967-5496). WE CAN EVEN COME TO YOU. There is no attorneys’ fee unless we recover money for you. We can also help with personal injury and medical malpractice cases in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, or Florida. If you have been seriously injured in any of the 50 U.S. states, please call us and we will try to help you with your case.
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