September 21st, 2012 - by DKRPA
The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office said a new ordinance that took effect earlier this spring is making a difference in the fight against boating accidents and underage drinking on and around Peanut Island. Peanut Island sits on 86-acres in the Intracoastal waterway south of the Blue Heron Bridge. The new ordinance requires any person caught with “alcohol in hand” to be considered to be carrying an open container.
Anyone caught with alcohol on the island will be subject to arrest on misdemeanor charges and given a court date. A sheriff’s office spokesperson was proud to report there was not a single arrest on the island on Labor Day. There was no report provided on whether that included the entire weekend or just the Monday holiday. The ordinance is part of an effort to combat underage drinking and boating while intoxicated, which can result in not only criminal charges but a civil lawsuit as well.
It is important to take city, county and state drinking and driving, or boating laws very seriously as a violation of those laws can go towards proof of negligence in a personal injury or wrongful death case should you be involved in a boating accident. In addition to any criminal penalties you could be facing civil penalties for damages that could have steep consequences if a judgment is awarded.
Not only could there be monetary damages but you may have to live with the fact that you caused the death or serious injuries of another, and that could be far worse to live with than a mere prison sentence or fines. Personal injury claims often result from distracted or impaired driving and it’s no different when drinking and operating a boat than it is operating a vehicle.
The dangers of drunk driving are ever present on Florida’s waterways as they are on the roadways so it was nice to hear that there no injuries reported on Peanut Island this past Labor Day. Let us hope future holidays are just as safe!
Source: The Palm Beach Post, “Peanut Island sees no arrests or injuries on Labor Day, Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office says,” Bill DiPaolo, Sept. 3, 2012
Our Palm Beach County personal injury attorneys handle cases involving alcohol-related boating and car accidents similar to what we discussed in the above post.