South Carolina Attorney Supports Operation Dry Water in Its Efforts to Reduce Boating Accidents

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Bert Louthian, whose practice with the Louthian Law Firm includes the representation of those harmed by boating accidents, states that Operation Dry Water will help save lives by decreasing occurrences of BUI (boating under the influence).

Columbia, SC Injury Lawyer

S.C. Attorney Bert Louthian

We hope that during the entire boating season people will stay safe and sober while on the water. Others’ lives are depending on it.

Injury lawyer Bert Louthian has nothing but praise for Operation Dry Water, a joint project of the U.S. Coast Guard and the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA).

“We should have zero tolerance for boating under the influence, the same as we do for driving under the influence,” Louthian commented. “Operation Dry Water, which will be conducted from June 26 through 28 in 2015, places the focus squarely on those who are putting others’ lives at risk with their drinking while on the water.”

Traditionally, Operation Dry Water (ODW) operates during the weekend that directly precedes the Fourth of July holiday weekend. While education and outreach continue all year, ODW focuses on patrols that stop and check boaters for possible violations.

“Alcohol is the top contributing factor for boating accident fatalities. Alcohol impairs your judgment and reaction time. It affects your vision and also your balance,” Louthian said. “The same problems that you have while operating a motor vehicle when you are driving under the influence, you will have when operating a boat under the influence."

According to a May 17 article in The Times and Democrat, South Carolina is seventh in the nation for boating accidents, with 14 deaths in 2014. "This is a dubious distinction," Louthian said, "and a sad fact that should not be allowed to stand.”

During Operation Dry Water, federal officers will enforce a blood alcohol content (BAC) limit of 0.08, the same limit as is found in many states’ traffic statutes for driving under the influence. They will also use the same tools: breathalyzers and blood tests.

“It doesn’t take much alcohol to hit the legal limit, and other things can increase your impairment, including certain medications and even the heat of the sun. Boaters should keep in mind that, even if they've only had a little to drink, their ability to pilot a boat and their reactions can be significantly impaired,” Louthian continued.

Louthian finished by adding, “We hope that during the entire boating season people will stay safe and sober while on the water. Others’ lives are depending on it. And we urge those who choose to indulge to make sure there is a qualified “designated boater” aboard. Nothing spoils the good memories of a day on the water like the lingering effects of a boat accident."

About the Louthian Law Firm P.A.

Founded by Herb Louthian in 1959, the Louthian Law Firm is family-owned and family-focused. Offering eight decades of combined legal expertise in all facets of personal injury law, the Columbia firm represents South Carolinians who have been hurt in boating, car, truck, and motorcycle accidents. For more information, please visit

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