SALEM, Ore. – Memorial Day weekend signals the beginning of boating season in Oregon and the Oregon State Marine Board wants to make sure boaters are prepared.
The U.S. Coast Guard reported that alcohol consumption attributed to 296 accidents with 243 injuries and 125 deaths in 2011.
“A fun-filled day can turn tragic from drinking while boating. It impairs your judgment and you take risks you normally wouldn’t,” said Ashley Massey, Public Information Officer for the Marine Board.
In Oregon, a boater is considered legally under the influence with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 percent or higher. Boaters found to have at least a 0.08 BAC can be charge with a BUII, boating under the influence of intoxicants, lose their boating license, pay up to $6,250 fine or spend a year in jail.
The Oregon State Marine Board says operators and passengers should wear properly fitting life jackets. For information about life jacket types, styles and legal requirements, click here.
Boaters must also take a boating safety course and carry a boater education card when operating a powerboat greater than 10 horsepower.