Many rules of the road also apply on the water: don’t speed and don’t drink and drive. Two recent incidents show the rules can easily be ignored on the water, but the danger is just as great.
One evening last week, the VPD Marine Unit stopped a boat at the Vanier boat launch on Chestnut Street, after the boat travelled approximately 20 knots in a five-knot area – four times the legal limit. The officers could smell liquor on the breath of the boat’s operator, who admitted to drinking. The man refused to provide a breath sample and was arrested.
As this was happening, the Marine Unit officers looked up to see another boat speeding towards them. They watched as the operator almost drove into the dock and the vessel they were aboard.
After several minutes of the man trying to dock his boat, the VPD officers were able to board. They could smell alcohol on the operator’s breath, so they began an impaired investigation. The man was ultimately arrested for impaired operation of a motor vehicle.
The risk to personal safety, and the safety of others, from speeding and impaired driving is no less on the water, and can have equally devastating consequences. Boaters are encouraged to have fun, and to be safe and responsible while doing so. Please report suspected impaired drivers to 9-1-1.