Police Get People Drunk for Training

The damage that can be caused by drunk drivers is well known. Over 10,000 people a year get killed by drunk drivers. Somewhat less well known is the fact the drunk boating is the leading cause of injuries and fatalities on the water.In 2010 there 126 fatalities and 293 serious injuries nationwide that were caused by drunk boating.

The “legal limit” for drunk boating is the same as the legal limit for drunk driving — .08 blood alcohol content. However, since the boating environment includes other stress factors, such as wind, noise, heat, direct sunlight, wave motion, etc., the effects of alcohol can be more pronounced on the water than on land.

The police in Suffolk County, New York knew that drunk boating was a problem, and with the summer boating season on the way, they wanted to prepare by learning how to spot drunken boaters. Believing that there is no substitute for the “real thing,” they got three Suffolk County workers and a spouse drunk in order to give the officers the opportunity to observe drunken behavior first hand.

One might wonder why they didn’t simply go to a neighborhood bar at 1 am on a Saturday night, but presumably, it was better for the police to be able to observe drunks in a more controlled environment.

As the volunteers were busily getting drunk, the officers were given an assignment: observe them and make an estimate of the volunteers’ BAC. The police officers weren’t the only ones who learned something from the experiment – one of the volunteers reported that he didn’t realize he was unsafe to drive until his BAC reached 0.12, well above the 0.08 legal limit.

Despite the police’s efforts, there will always be accidents caused by drunk boaters and drivers. If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, whether it was caused by a drunk driver, boater, or any other cause, contact an experienced personal injury attorney at the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Hasson, P.C.