Ah, summertime! It's a great time to hit the water, and millions across America will do just that later this month when the Memorial Day holiday hits. Unfortunately, all that fun in the sun can quickly turn dangerous if the guy at the helm is also on the sauce.
Statistics show that alcohol or drug use is involved in at least 15 percent of boating fatalities each year. 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 those who save the cocktails for shore time. In numerous states, 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. Essentially, you feel the effects of drunkenness quicker and more intensely. These include diminished balance, coordination, motor skills, vision and judgement - all significantly boosting your risk of a devastating and potentially fatal accident on the water.
To help curb such incidents the Sea Tow Foundation is encouraging boat owners and operators to take the "Designated Skipper" pledge. It's an online campaign where visitors can pledge to: