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Boating under the influence is never a good idea

As people enjoy time on the water to take a break from the summer heat, it is imperative that they take the time to remember that alcohol, hot weather and boating aren't a very good mix. This is especially true for the person who is operating the boat.

Many people don't realize that there are laws against drunk boating just like there are laws against drunk driving. When you learn about the impacts that alcohol can have on a person on a boat, it is easy to understand why.

When you are out on the water, you are usually out in the heat and sun, which is a taxing combination under the best of circumstances. The sun, the heat and alcohol all have dehydrating effects on the body. Dehydration can make the effects of alcohol more pronounced, so this is automatically a big factor in how the alcohol will affect you.

Alcoholic beverages can slow your reaction time. Due to the nature of boating, you need to be able to react quickly when you notice an obstacle in the water. Not being able to react right away could mean that you can't steer the boat away from an oncoming vessel or that you can't take action to avoid hitting a person in the water.

On top of these issues, you also face the normal problems that can occur with boating. The water's motions and how that impacts the boat can make your footing unstable. This is also aggravated by alcohol, so you might end up injuring yourself even if you don't face criminal charges for boating under the influence.

Source: Boat US Foundation, "The Effects of Alcohol," accessed July 21, 2017

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