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IL injury lawyerSummertime means many people like to be outside doing various activities, including water sports. This can include swimming at pools or boating on lakes. Residents of the Chicagoland area often escape the bustling city to Lake Michigan for fun. However, as with any motorized vehicle, boating can be dangerous under certain conditions. Inclement weather can pose risks to passengers, as well as operator error. There are certain laws that boat owners must follow for safety reasons. When a driver or owner of a boat acts recklessly or negligently, he or she may be held accountable for any injuries that passengers suffer.

Boating Under the Influence

Just like driving under the influence (DUI) of drugs or alcohol, it is illegal to drink and operate a boat in all 50 states. The penalties by each state vary depending on the circumstances. Punishments in Illinois may include steep fines, jail time, and loss of driving privileges.

If the driver of a watercraft is intoxicated, his or her ability to make judgments and navigate the boat safely is greatly impaired. This can cause a crash with another boat or a collision with a dock. Passengers can be knocked to the floor and break a bone or hit their heads on sharp objects such as the sail of a sailboat. In some high-speed boating accidents, occupants may even be thrown overboard depending on the force of impact.

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