When it comes to drinking while driving, we all know that it is wrong. However, when it comes to summertime fun, some people have questions about whether it’s legal to drink on a boat while driving or not.. Here’s what you should know before you pick up alcohol while sailing.
As much as you think drinking alcohol while driving a boat is harmless, you would never pick up a drink when you’re behind the wheel of a car. All that boating fun can turn deadly with a buzzed boat driver. In fact, reports found that alcohol is a factor in almost half of all boating accidents.
What’s more, the combination of sun, water, glare, engine noise, and vibration can make the boaters feel the effects of alcohol even faster. To make the situation worse, many boaters aren’t hugely experienced operating a boat as it is often a seasonal activity. This can further reduce reaction time and judgment. They may even have to think about how to operate the boat, slowing down the response time even further.
Please note that a BUI citation is every bit as real as a DUI. It is a federal offense to drink alcohol while driving a boat. In most states, the blood alcohol limit is the same as driving: 0.8 percent or more. As a result, the repercussions are just as severe: your driving record could be affected, your boat could be seized, and you could face hefty fines.
Police can set up “BUI checkpoints,” which stop boats and ask boaters to record their blood/alcohol limit. Police can also board your boat without cause. In short, it is best not to risk it. Avoid drinking while driving your boat and enjoy your boating without a drink. Once you are back on land, you can enjoy a beer to celebrate!
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