New Bill Would Require Breathalyzers in Watercraft Accidents

Boating accidents can result in catastrophic and fatal injuries for victims. Unfortunately, many victims suffer because of preventable accidents involving the use of alcohol. A new law proposed by South Carolina legislators would require Department of Natural Resources law enforcement officers to administer a breathalyzer test for all drivers involved in a boating accident. The law has been spearheaded by a mother who lost her 19-year-old daughter in a jet-ski accident in May. The mother of Millicent “Milli” McDonald is asking residents of South Carolina to sign the petition for what she would like to be called, “Milli’s Law.”
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According to reports, the May accident occurred when a 26-year-old man and the victim were both riding personal watercrafts near the landing. The other man crashed into the victim who was airlifted from the scene, but never regained consciousness after the accident. The young victim was pronounced brain dead less than 24 hours after the collision. Though alcohol was suspected in the accident, the other driver was never tested. The watercraft collision occurred on May 19th and the victim was pronounced dead on May 20th. The man was charged with reckless homicide by watercraft and has two previous DUI charges, but was never given a breathalyzer after the accident. Some legislators are hoping to work a policy out directly with the Department of Natural Resources.

The law would require law enforcement officers to test the alcohol levels of all drivers involved in a watercraft collision on any body of water in South Carolina. The breathalyzer test would only be required when a victim suffered serious bodily injury or when there is a fatality caused by the accident. Many residents do not realize that the laws that apply to motorists using state and federal highways do not apply to boat drivers. Under the current laws, the Department of Natural Resources is not required to test the alcohol levels of watercraft operators who are involved in a collision.

Individuals, families, business owners and others have showed their support for “Milli’s Law.” Family and friends of the victim are also circulating petitions throughout the area and the state. Advocates for the new law are hoping for hundreds of signatures prior to the state legislative session in January when they plan to ask representatives to draft and pass Milli’s Law. According to the mother of the victim, the law is necessary to keep waterways safe and to help prevent future drunk driving boating accidents.

Every boating accident that results in injury or death is a tragedy, especially when involving alcohol. Our Charlotte boating accident attorneys are dedicated to helping victims and their loved ones collect just compensation and take legal action after an accident. While we know that filing a legal claim will not bring your loved one back, it can help you gain closure and hold those responsible accountable. In addition to representing the victims of boating accidents, our legal team is committed to raising awareness to prevent future drinking and driving accidents.

Contact the Greensboro personal injury lawyers at the Lee Law Offices by calling 800-887-1965.

More Blog Entries:
Hunting Accident in North Carolina Results in Death, October 4, 2014, Greensboro Personal Injury Lawyers Blog


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, Aug. 5, 2014, Rock Hill Injury Lawyer Blog

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