Spring is on the horizon, and for Louisiana boaters, that is very welcome news indeed. Thanks to the abundance of waterways throughout the state, we have ample opportunity to set sail and spend the day fishing, water skiing or just enjoying the company of family and friends.
But safety is always a priority when heading out on a favorite lake or river. And if at all possible, it is a good idea to let someone know about your day's planned activities. To this end, you may want to give your personal information and itinerary, also called a "float plan," to a family member, friend or the staff at a local marina. Your float plan can contain:
- The names and phone numbers of your passengers.
- The trip leader's name, phone number, and address.
- Information about your vessel's signal and communication equipment, such as a Personal Locator Beacon (PLB).
- The boat's type and registration info.
- The day's travel plan.
A float plan can help ensure that someone is aware you are out on the water and if something goes awry, that person can alert the authorities who can act to provide emergency services if necessary.
But of course, one of the primary purposes of boating is to have fun. And sometimes fun includes having a few drinks while sailing about. But remember, the law regards drinking and operating a boat is essentially the same as drinking and driving a car, meaning you can be charged with operating under the influence while on the water.
If you should have the misfortune of being charged with operating a boat under the influence, you can face serious penalties, such as fines or even jail time. Therefore, you may want to have an experienced Louisiana DUI/DWI attorney act as your legal representative. An attorney can help you fight the charges and may be able to keep a conviction off of your record.