Boating Under the Influence: Understanding the Risks and Taking Steps for Safe and Responsible Waterways

One of the most significant responsibilities you have as a boat owner is to take it seriously to avoid any harm or other hardship for your passengers. When boating with your friends and family, getting lost in the fun and having a few drinks with everyone can be easy. However, drinking while boating can be hazardous and can result in severe accidents. In fact, according to the U.S. Coast Guard, alcohol is the leading cause of fatal boating accidents, accounting for nearly one-third of all boating deaths.

With this in mind, it is imperative that you understand the risks of drinking while boating so you can make intelligent and safe decisions for yourself and those on your boat. In this article, we will go over the risks of drinking while boating while also giving you solutions and ideas to still have fun on the water.

What You Risk by Drinking While Boating

We cannot express enough how dangerous and irresponsible it is to overindulge on alcohol while operating your boat. When drinking while boating, the risk of drowning, falling overboard, or being involved in a collision increases dramatically. Alcohol affects judgment, balance, coordination, and reaction time, making it difficult to operate a boat safely. It also impairs the ability to make good decisions, increases the likelihood of taking risks, and affects the ability to respond in an emergency.

We highly recommend that when you are alone, you do not drink, and when you are out with friends and family, always ensure there is a designated boat operator.

Drinking While Boating With Others

When you have friends, family, or other passengers in your boat, it is your responsibility to keep everyone safe. This includes reducing distractions and keeping yourself sharp and alert by not drinking alcohol excessively. If you drink too much, you put passengers, other boaters, and swimmers in danger. Boats are large and heavy, and when operated by someone under the influence of alcohol, they can cause severe damage to other vessels and property.

Here are some things you can do to ensure everyone on board is having a good time while staying safe.

• If you want to serve alcohol, plan to do it on shore.
• Serve heavy snacks or lunch with water.
• Use juice rather than carbonated beverages for mixers because carbonated beverages cause alcohol to be consumed faster.
• Encourage your passengers to alternate between alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks.

Staying on the Right Side of the Law.

Not drinking alcohol while operating a boat will not only keep you and your passengers safe, but it will also keep you on the right side of the law. The laws regarding alcohol and boating are similar to those for drinking and driving. Boaters with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 or higher are considered to be under the influence and can be charged with boating under the influence (BUI). The consequences of a BUI conviction can be severe and include fines, imprisonment, and the loss of boating privileges.

Staying Safe with Boating World

Here at Boating World, we take the act of drinking while boating seriously. Our goal is to keep you, your passengers, and the people around you safe while enjoying the world of boating. If you are interested in learning more about drinking while boating or other safety topics, we encourage you to visit our website today!

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