Summer holidays are a busy time for boating, especially July 4th weekend. As your neighbor, we feel it is important for you to understand the laws and the risks of the Chain of Lakes when it comes to drinking and boating.

Laws Governing the Winter Haven’s Chain of Lakes:

Winter Haven’s Chain of Lakes adheres to Florida statutes regarding boating. Chapter 327, Vessel Safety, outlines key rules and regulations when it comes to boats and other vessels. For example, statute 327.35 explicitly states that a person guilty of the offense of boating under the influence and is subject to the following punishments:

1. By a fine of:

a. Not less than $500 or more than $1,000 for a first conviction.

b. Not less than $1,000 or more than $2,000 for a second conviction; and

2. By imprisonment for:

a. Not more than 6 months for a first conviction.

b. Not more than 9 months for a second conviction.

Additionally Chapter 327 includes items such as definitions and jurisdiction. Chapter 328 entails vessel title certificates, liens, and registration. The law clearly states its restrictions, rules, and punishments if not followed. The Chain of Lakes is subject to these Florida boating laws just like other bodies of water in Florida.

According to statistics from the Coast Guard – In 2016, there were 4,463 accidents that involved 701 deaths, 2,903 injuries and approximately $49 million dollars of damage to property as a result of recreational boating accidents across the U.S.

The Risks of Boating and Drinking:

In today’s day and age, most people recognize the dangers of drinking and driving. However, what most people fail to realize is that drinking while operating a boat is equally as dangerous. Aside from the law stated previously, there are other harms of boating and drinking.

According to the BoatU.S. Foundation, boating and drinking includes the following effects:

  • Affected balance
  • Impaired judgement
  • Slow reaction
  • And other dangerous risks

When boating when should never drink, because the risks outweigh the momentary benefits of drinking.

The Chain of Lakes in Winter Haven, Florida have become a top tourist destination in the state of Florida as well as a hot spot for locals to get out and enjoy the sun. In order to enjoy a safe stay at the Chain of Lakes, you should follow all of the rules and laws regarding boating and drinking in order to minimize risks and maximize enjoyment.

We want to wish you and your family a safe and Happy 4th of July!

Steve was born in New Orleans, Louisiana. As was the practice for new doctors his father worked day and night during his medical residency at Charity Hospital there. Steve comes from a long line of doctors. His father, his grandfather, his great grandfather, even two uncles were all specialists and/or surgeons in their chosen medical specialties, including internal medicine specialist, obstetrics / gynecology, neurosurgery and general practice / surgery. His great-great grandfather was the Surgeon General of Ohio during the Civil War.