Dangers of boating while intoxicated

News Center 23

POSTED: Wednesday, May 22, 2013 - 8:57am

UPDATED: Wednesday, May 22, 2013 - 9:01am

.08 is the legal blood alcohol concentration limit of both driving and boating while intoxicated. But the latter can lead to even more severe consequences. Tony Reisinger, a Cameron County extension agent, explained why he believes that boating while intoxicated is worse than drunk driving.

"There are a lot of boats in Texas and I don't have the exact figures, but especially on holidays, it can be worse than rush hour traffic out there and there are no signs to tell you to stay in this lane. You know, you can go wherever you want, so you know there can be people criss-crossing in front of you, so that makes it more dangerous, really."

Last year, there were 32 deaths in Texas from boating accidents. Alcohol was the leading factor in these deaths, contributing to 15 percent of t hat death toll. The Texas game warden filed 310 boating while intoxicated cases. Most of these citations were not even on extremely large bodies of water.

"While it doesn't seem like lakes like this have much boat traffic, let alone collisions, think again. Boating while intoxicated is more common on lakes than on the coast."

Reisinger does offer a solution to minimize these boating collisions and fatalities though.

"Education and enforcement are extremely important. Education even more so because it could reduce the number of fatalities in Texas."

Reporting in Brownsville, Marty Watson, KVEO News Center 23.

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