Just the same as driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, operating a boat under the influence is every bit as dangerous. This is why there are boating under the influence laws in place.
In addition to state laws, there are also federal laws to help prevent boating under the influence.
As you can imagine, alcohol can be every bit as hazardous on water as land. For this reason, there's never a good time for a person to consume alcohol and then take control of a boat (regardless of the size or reason).
Law enforcement officials are doing their best to cut down on boating under the influence, such as by setting up BUI checkpoints on the water. Just the same as a roadside checkpoint, these are setup with the idea of ensuring that boat operators are not under the influence of alcohol.
The consequences of a BUI conviction can be serious. For example, commercial boat operators could lose their license, while also finding it next to impossible to secure a job in the industry in the future. This doesn't even take into consideration monetary fines and the potential for community service.
Furthermore, a commercial boat operator who is under the influence is more likely to make a mistake that causes injury to someone on board, such as a passenger or worker.
If you are part of a maritime accident, it's important to learn more about the cause and the steps you can take to protect your legal rights in the future. You may be surprised at what you find as you uncover the finer details of the accident.
Source: FindLaw, "Boating Under the Influence Basics," accessed May 11, 2018