Much like our roads and highways, a series of laws and regulations ensure the safe navigation of Florida’s waterways. State law does not require a license for boat operation, however the law requires you to register your boat. This means that just about anyone can get behind the wheel. Because Florida has more than 1,200 miles of coastline, boat use — both recreational and professional — is a constant, year-round activity. And, with our expanding population, the dangers of personal injury or property damage are therefore great. Boating is one of the pre-eminent attractions of living in St. Petersburg, but someone ignores the rules, that is negligence. Should you require the services of a boating accident attorney, K LAW, PLLC is your lifeline.
Do Not Let a Negligent Boater Spoil Your Fun in St. Petersburg
According to the American Boating Association, approximately 7,700 boat-related accidents are reported each year. Operator error is listed as the cause in nearly 70 percent of those cases. Incompetent drivers often stray out of the marked channels and steer their vessel into dangerous shallows, causing damage to both the boat and the environment. They collide with docks and take pieces out of bridge supports. They drive fast in no-wake zones. A boating accident attorney enters the picture when the boater’s negligence directly affects someone else. Were you safely operating your watercraft in the waters of St. Petersburg, when a speeding boater came too close and caused you to capsize? Did their boat drift over and dent yours? This sort of thing happens every day in Florida, and we are here to help.
No Sense of Safety? Call a Boating Accident Attorney
Boaters between the ages of 14 and 21 are required to complete a boating education course (those under 14 are not permitted to operate boats at all). Administered by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the online courses are designed to make boat safety a priority. Graduates receive an official ID card that they must carry while on board. However, no one over 21 — in St. Petersburg or elsewhere — is required to complete the course or carry a card. The dangers, consequently, are out there. When defensive driving is not enough, and injury or damage results, consult a boating accident attorney.
BUI Penalties and Consequences
Criminal penalties for BUI (Boating Under the Influence) are severe. Just as with DUI, a blood alcohol level of 0.08% is over the acceptable limit when operating a boat in St. Petersburg. Some people do not understand that operating a boat is, for all intents and purposes, the same as operating a motor vehicle. If they hurt or kill someone, or cause property damage, they are responsible and have to pay for their actions. As your boating accident attorney, K LAW, PLLC will go to extremes to represent you in court and see that you receive the full compensation you deserve.