St. Louis Injury Lawyers Wish You a Safe and Happy Fourth of July!

St. Louis Injury Lawyers Wish You a Safe and Happy Fourth of July!

The Lake of the Ozarks Water Safety Council has recently launched its “Designate A Captain” program to combat drunk boating over the upcoming Fourth of July holiday weekend.

Your risk of being injured on the water or being involved in a boating accident in Missouri greatly increases over the Fourth of July holiday weekend, according to Lake News Online.

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“Sobriety checkpoints will be conducted to increase the boating public’s awareness of the potential hazards of operating a boat while intoxicated, maximize enforcement efforts in deterring impaired boating, remove intoxicated boaters from Missouri waterways, and reduce fatalities and injuries through vigorous enforcement of Missouri boating laws,” said Major Thomas E. Roam, director of the Missouri State Highway Patrol’s Water Patrol Division.

Our St. Louis Personal Injury Attorneys understand that many residents and visitors will be hitting our local waters to celebrate the long weekend. We also understand that alcohol will be involved in many of these celebrations. We encourage all boaters to both celebrate and boat safely during the three-day weekend to avoid a serious or fatal accident.

The enforcement program is an annual effort that is coordinated with the Water Safety Council, Ameren Missouri and the Missouri Highway Patrol Water Division. These agencies use this time to promote safe boating on not only the lake but also on Missouri’s waterways.

“Think Before You Sink: Wear A Life Jacket” is the theme of this year’s program. The Designate A Captain program encourages all boaters to choose a boater that is not under the influence of alcohol to captain a boat.

According to Missouri law, boaters are prohibited from boating while intoxicated (BWI). This means that they cannot operate a vessel while intoxicated due to alcohol or any combination of alcohol, controlled substances or drugs. Since August 28, 2008, Missouri’s blood alcohol concentration for BWI was lowered from .10 to .08. This is the same blood alcohol concentration limit for drivers.

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This is how the Designate A Captain program works:

-Stop at one of the 50 participating businesses to pick up a boating key chain.

-Give this key chain to your designated boat captain, after they agree not to consume alcohol.

-Your designated captain can bring their key chain to any of the participating businesses and receive a free non-alcoholic drink.

In 2010, the use of alcohol was involved in nearly 350 boating accidents in the United States. It contributed to nearly 200 boaters deaths and nearly 300 boating injuries, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.

“It’s a common sense approach to say that you don’t want to be under the influence of alcohol when you’re operating a boat or a car. You know, you have people on the road, you have people on the waterways, your ability to safely maneuver and handle your vessel can or cannot compromise the safety of other people,” said Lieutenant Collin Bronson with the U.S. Coast Guard.

Residents may also be hanging out pool side, maybe even enjoying a barbecue during this long holiday weekend. There are a number of dangers lurking in these areas as well. Only by taking the proper safety precautions can you reduce the risks of an injury or a death on your pool deck.

Pool safety tips from the National Drowning Prevention Alliance:

-Always use the buddy system when swimming. Never swim alone.

-Always supervise children near or in a pool.

-Learn CPR and other rescue breathing techniques.

-Remove toys from in and around the pool when not in use.

-Keep your phone near the pool so that you never have to leave the pool to answer the phone and so that you can quickly call for help if needed.

-Keep a life-saving ring, shepherd’s hook and CPR instructions near the pool.

-Never use flotation devices as a substitute for supervision.

-If a child is missing, always check the pool first.

-Don’t use floating chlorine dispensers that look like toys.

-Do not consider children to be “drownproof” because they’ve had swimming lessons.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 3,500 people died from unintentional drownings in the United States in 2007. This means that about 10 people died everyday because of these accidents. Drowning is the second leading cause of death for children under the age of 15. More than 55 percent of all drowning victims that were treated in emergency rooms required either hospitalization or a transfer to higher levels of care.

Injuries from these types of accidents can be severe. A nonfatal drowning can cause brain damage that may result in long-term disabilities. These types of disabilities can include memory problems, learning disabilities and permanent loss of basic functioning.

If you are dealing with a boating pool accident or a swimming pool accident in the St. Louis area, contact St. Louis Injury Lawyer Ryan R. Cox for a free and confidential appointment to discuss your rights. Call 636-946-6886.

More Blog Entries:

St. Louis swimming pool accidents a summer danger, St. Louis Injury Lawyer Blog, June 7, 2010

Additional Resources:

Program for sober captains kicks off, by Dan Field, Lake News Online

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Ryan R. Cox & Associates, LLC

Ryan R. Cox & Associates, LLC is a litigation law firm that represents individuals and families in serious personal injury and wrongful death claims throughout Missouri. We help people who have been injured in all types of accidents—including car or truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, slip and fall accidents, and much more. Whether your injury is something that can cause long-term issues like a brain injury or spinal cord injury, or it is something you’ll likely make a full recovery from, we are here to help.

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