Every state has a Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) or Driving Under the Influence (DUI) law that is in place for those who would be out and about while they are drinking or doing drugs. Because those things impair us from being able to make good, healthy decisions and they kill our reaction time, it’s only logical that we have laws protecting those people from themselves and from other people who may be on the road. Some of those laws have even gotten stricter as time goes on.
That being said, it is important to consider that there are other devices that probably shouldn’t be used when people are intoxicated or under the influence of drugs. If you live in an area that has a lot of water, then it’s almost obvious that there should be some sort of law related to driving a boat while intoxicated. Some states try to use their existing laws related to DUI/DWI in order to deal with these problems, but many times, they aren’t enough.
Arkansas made the decision to try and figure out how they can decrease the severity of this issue. It came up because, earlier this year, a pair of 21 year old boys died because of driving a boat while they were intoxicated. As a result, the legislature put a law through that takes care of boating while intoxicated, and makes it a crime so that there is no question about whether or not DUI/DWI laws apply to a particular situation. And, as of this month, those laws went live and were ready to go when Labor Day Weekend came along.
Will this help people to stop drinking and doing drugs while they are out driving a boat? DUI/DWI laws have been shown to save lives, so it’s likely that these boating laws will do the same. Other states may follow suit if Arkansas is successful in what they’re doing, or they may try to figure out their own way to go about it. What do you think about the law? Do you believe that it’s going to make a difference or that it will be difficult to be enforced? I would keep my eye out on it for a few months to see how much of a difference, if any, it makes on the way that people use their boats while under the influence of drugs and alcohol.