While the following story isn’t happening here in Rhode Island, it still serves as an important reminder about operating your boat and drinking while you do it. Or, more accurately, it’s about boating under the influence and how this act is being taken very seriously by lawmakers, and this could become a national trend.

A state representative in Florida wants to make a law that says that anyone who is convicted of a BUI would have the offense added to his or her driving record. Obviously the point here is to deter people from getting out on their watercraft and drinking while they are doing it, and to also shame those who do decide to act in such a way.

As we have said many times before, boating under the influence is something that everyone should avoid. You put yourself at risk in numerous ways, and you obviously endanger other people out on the lake, or ocean, or whatever body of water you are navigating.

Now having said that, not every person who is accused of or convicted of boating under the influence is a bad person, nor is every person that fits this description someone who was grossly over the limit and recklessly operating their vessel. In many cases, the accused individual is very near the limit (but slightly over) and still operating his or her vessel capably (though obviously they shouldn’t be operating it).

For this, the Florida lawmaker wants the individual to be forever punished with a stain on his or her driving record. Excessive punishment doesn’t necessarily solve the issue. It only makes it harder for the individual to adequately heal after such an incident.

Source: 10 News, “Bill would add boating under influence to driver records,” Isabel Mascarenas, Jan. 16, 2015