With the Fourth of the July being next week, many people will be getting off work today and heading out for a long, holiday weekend. Some will choose to go to the beach, while others might head to the pool to cool off and have some fun.
Here in Sacramento, one of the most popular things to do is go boating or tubing on the river. It’s a beautiful and warm weekend, but before you get on your boat with an ice-cold beer, there’s something you should know.
While you may be able to drink alcohol on a boat, driving a boat while intoxicated is much different. Just like a vehicle, operating a boat while intoxicated can be a serious crime.
According to California law, boating under the influence, or a BUI, prohibits operating a vessel while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. That can mean anyone that is driving a motorboat, sailboat or jet ski. You can be convicted of a BUI if you have a blood or breath alcohol concentration of .08% or greater, which is the same thing if you were to be caught for a DUI.
California BUI penalties also depend on whether someone has had a prior BUI or DUI within the past seven years, but for a first offense, it can be serious.
If convicted, a court can sentence you up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine. You may also have to complete a substance abuse program if the court sees the need.
If this is a repeat offense within in the last seven years, you can be sentenced to up to one year in jail and a $1,000 fine. You can also be sentenced to anywhere up to 18 to 30 months in a substance abuse program.
Moreover, drinking only alcohol in hotter weather can also cause dehydration. Drinking too much alcohol with not enough water can decrease your body’s use to reabsorb water. It can also lead to vomiting, which can deplete your body of the fluids needed to hydrate. Plus, mixing alcohol, heat and swimming can lead to even graver outcomes.
“When you’re drinking only alcohol in the hot sun, you can get headaches, profuse sweating, disoriented and overly tired,” said Chris Kinley, Vice President of the Sacramento Drowning Accident Rescue Team, or DART. “These are all common causes of drowning. You get in the water, you get stuck, confused and then you have no idea what to do.”
So if you will be drinking in the hot sun this summer, be sure to have glass of water before you start alcohol consumption. If you continue drinking, alternate between your alcohol and water consumption to help keep your fluids up.