Vermont has scores of lakes and ponds for swimming and boating. Many of us take advantage of Vermont’s waterways to go swimming, boating or fishing. Regrettably, a number of injuries will occur each year from boating accidents.

These injuries involve all kinds of boats and other watercraft. Whether the accidents occur on speedboats, sailboats, jet skis, party boats, cruise ships or a privately owned vessel, these accidents have the potential to result in major injuries or even fatalities. Determining fault and liability in watercraft accidents can be challenging and complex.

Some of these injuries will be the result of inexperienced or careless boat drivers. Excessive speed, or boating under the influence of drugs or alcohol, puts everyone on the boat and people swimming nearby in danger.

The State of Vermont publishes a boater safety book entitled, “ The Handbook of Vermont Boating Laws and Responsibilities.” This resource contains many good pointers and a summary of the law all boaters are expected to follow.

In addition, section 3323 of Title 23, Vermont Statutes Annotated makes it a crime to operate a boat while under the influence of alcohol or any other drug (“Boating under the Influence” or “BUI”). If a boat operator is under the age of 21, he or she cannot operate a boat if their blood alcohol content is even 0.02 percent alcohol concentration. (See 23 V.S.A. § 3323a). (By comparison, an adult is legally under the influence of alcohol if their blood alcohol content is 0.08 percent.)

If you need a boating accident lawyer to fight for payment of your medical bills and damages, call today for a free consultation.