Summer is the season that calls people outside. Lakes and rivers around Ohio attract residents hoping to fish, swim or go boating. Small towns all over the Midwest benefit from summer vacations, with people renting cabins or visiting attractions to relax and enjoy the season with their loved ones. Unfortunately, the same seasonal celebrations that lead to an influx in tourism money can also increase the risk to people on the roads or out on boats.
While the law in Ohio is perfectly clear about both driving and boating while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, many people still break these laws. Their choices can put you and your family at risk of injury or death. Even boating crashes can result in serious injuries.
Alcohol impairs your ability to drive any kind of vehicle
Regardless of how often you drink or how competent you feel, alcohol reduces your ability to safely manage a motor vehicle. That includes passenger vehicles on the road, as well as motorized boats on lakes or other waterways. Regardless of where you drive, you should avoid taking control of a vehicle after drinking.
Alcohol can increase your reaction time to sudden changes. It can also make it harder for you to focus on the task at hand, leaving you susceptible to dangerous distractions. In extreme cases, it can lead to dizziness or issues with your vision. Even a light buzz can create dangerous levels of impairment.
People hurt by drunk drivers and boaters have rights in Ohio
Your family could experience serious financial hardship in the wake of a crash caused by someone driving while impaired. These could include lost wages, the cost to repair or replace your car or boat, medical expenses, final expenses if there was a death and much more. You shouldn't have to bear that financial burden if the crash was the result of someone else's poor decisions.
Ohio law makes it illegal to operate a car, truck, SUV or boat while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. When people choose to do it anyway and hurt others, they can end up subject to both criminal and civil penalties. Many times, drunk drivers that cause injuries or property damage will face criminal charges. The penalties they face for these offenses include jail time, loss of driving privileges and expensive fines.
Whether or not an impaired driver or boater ends up convicted of a crime, you could still seek compensation and justice in civil court. Those who cause injuries to others or damage others' property can face personal injury lawsuits. The same is true for anyone who causes the death of another through a wrongful act, like drunk boating or driving, as they could also face wrongful death lawsuits from surviving family members of the deceased.