Dangerous and Drunken Boating in Connecticut: What Are Your Rights?

The boating season in Connecticut has officially begun and the Department of Environmental Protection wants boaters to practice safe boating behavior. This includes leaving the booze at home when out on the water, and knowing and obeying the boating laws and regulations.

One of the biggest problems on Connecticut waterways each boating season is drunken and dangerous behavior that causes accidents on the water. To avoid accidents, boat operators need to be sober and able to safely maneuver their boat or Jet Ski in the water. It's also important that passengers not be so inebriated that they cause an accident, fall off the watercraft or are unable to think clearly to get to safety. Clearly, combining boating while drinking is a dangerous proposition.

Connecticut requires certification for boaters and watercraft operators on Connecticut waterways. According to the Department of Environmental Protection, to obtain a safe boating certificate, you must complete an approved basic boating course. To obtain a personal watercraft safety certificate, you must complete a safe boating and personal watercraft combination course. Once you have completed the course and obtained the certification, you must carry the certificate with you any time you are operating your boat or personal watercraft such as a Jet Ski.

Most boat owners who have an outstanding boat loan must carry comprehensive collision insurance for their watercraft on either their homeowner's policy or a boating policy. Contact your insurance agent to make sure you are protected in case of a boating accident. If you are injured in a boating accident, you could end up losing income due to time off work as well as having to pay for any medical care.

Boating accidents are under the jurisdiction of the Department of Environmental Protection or the local police department in the area of the accident. People who are injured in marine accidents have the same rights regarding personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits as those injured in car accidents. If you are injured in a boating accident, you should call an attorney immediately. A personal injury lawyer can help protect your rights and make sure you receive adequate medical care and compensation for your injuries and loss of income.

Enjoy your time on the Connecticut waters this summer and make the choice to boat safely and responsibly.