John Kody Ray was driving his boat along the Atlantic Intercoastal Waterway in the vicinity of Myrtle Beach, just south of the Arrowhead Country Club. Unfortunately, Ray evidently got behind the wheel of his boat after drinking and while intoxicated. Additionally, Ray had five passengers on board at the time of what became a drunk boating accident.
While moving down the Atlantic Intercoastal Waterway at about 8:15 at night, Ray either lost control of his boat or failed to see what was directly in front of him. Whatever the precise underlying immediate cause, ran his passenger filled boat into a floating dock on the Atlantic Intercoastal Waterway.
Two passengers were injured in the boat crash. Luckily, one of these injured passengers suffered only minor injuries. The same cannot be said of 28-year-old Corey Parag or Myrtle Beach. Parag was killed in the catastrophic drunk boating accident. An autopsy of Parag was scheduled for Friday, April 16, 2021, with more details on his traumatic death expected to be released sometime after this forensics examination.
The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, or SCDNR, has been charged with investigating this horrific boating accident. Although the investigation has only just commenced in many ways, a decision has been made in regard to the boat’s driver, John Kody Ray. Ray has been charged with boating under the influence of alcohol resulting in a death as well as two counts of violating navigational rules and regulations.
As of this juncture in time, no other charges have been lodged against the boat driver. Additional charges have not necessarily been ruled out. The possibility exists that additional charges might be lodged following the completing of the autopsy of the deceased victim of this fatal boating accident.
Drunk boating is a widespread and deadly problem in the United States. As we enter into warmer months across the country, and as relief from the coronavirus pandemic appears in sight, examining drunk boating statistics is important.
According to the U.S. Coast Guard, 31 percent of boating fatalities each year are the result of a drunk boat operator. Simply put, that means nearly one out of three boating deaths each year were completely avoidable.
The Coast Guard also reports that the drunk boating fatality rate has been increasing and not decreasing in recent years. Since the beginning of the 21st century, drunk boating deaths are up on average by five percent each year. A person with a blood alcohol content above the generally recognized legal limit across the United States – .08 percent – is 10-times more likely to cause a fatal boating accident.
Most states make it illegal to operate a boat if a person has a blood alcohol content of .08 percent and above. Some states and localities have stiffened penalties associated with drunk boating. Enhanced penalties for drunk boating in some jurisdictions include:
- Suspending a boating license of privilege
- Taking action against an intoxicated boat operator’s motor vehicle driver’s license
- Seizure and sale of boat by law enforcement
More and more states and local jurisdictions are expected to increase sanctions and penalties associated with drunk boating. Beyond state and local government action, the rights of people impacted by drunk boating are protected by capable drunk boating accident attorneys like those onboard at The Doan Law Firm.
If you’ve been injured as the result of a drunk boating accident, or if you’ve lost a loved one in this type of tragedy, the experienced, compassionate legal team at The Doan Law Firm is here for you – 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 52 weeks a year. You can reach us right now or any time that is convenient for you by calling us at (800) 349-0000.
A nationwide law practice, The Doan Law Firm can schedule an initial consultation for you with a skilled, committed drunk boating accident lawyer at any one of our 40 offices, located from coast to coast across the country. We can also arrange a virtual consultation online as well. There is no charge for an initial consultation and case evaluation with a drunk boating accident lawyer from our firm.
The Doan Law Firm makes an attorney fee guarantee to you. Our firm never charges an attorney fee unless we win your case for you.