How do you stay alert and avoid hazards on the water?
Operation of a boat while intoxicated is a federal offense, subject to a $1,000 fine. The current federal legal
- Limit your alcohol consumption to one drink or less per hour.
- Be aware of the effects of alcohol, both on and in the water. Remember that boating
stress factors alone will reduce your ability to function.
- If you expect to have more than one or two drinks per two-hour period, allow a non-drinker to operate the boat.
- Even drugs that are stimulants can have an adverse impact on your ability to operate a boat properly.
- Better yet, don't go boating. A responsible boater will refuse to allow an intoxicated or impaired person
to take the helm.
limit is .08% Blood Alcohol Content. Criminal penalties are as high as $5,000. Many states are toughening
their "Boats and Booze" laws by stiffening penalties and boosting law enforcement efforts. Most states also
restrict operating "under the influence". Operating under the influence has a lower threshold Blood Alcohol
Content--usually .05%. However, you may be charged with operating under the influence at any point--it is
at the discretion of the boating officer based on their perception of how you are functioning as a boat operator.
Banning alcohol from boats is not practical. But moderation and common sense on the water are very practical.
When you operate a boat, you accept responsibility for the boat, for the safety of your passengers and crew and
for others out enjoying the water.
Drugs and alcohol aren't the sport. Boating is the sport. Enjoy it safely!