July 31, 2009, Newsletter Issue #177: Open Container Laws on the Water

Tip of the Week

Some states estimate the accident rate for combining alcohol and boats at a whopping 50 percent of all aquatic mishaps, so it's no surprise there are more aggressive procedures to curb boating under the influence. The most confusing aspect of many state laws (including California boating under the influence laws) is that unlike automobiles, open containers of alcohol are permitted on boats in most cases. This gives the false impression that boating while intoxicated is either ignored or under-enforced.

The truth is, open containers may be legal, but if the boat operator's blood alcohol content exceeds .08, it is a violation of the law and punishable by fines, jail time, and suspension of permits or licenses. If you have the responsibility of operating the boat and steering it around the waterway, you bear the burden of remaining within the legal limits for alcohol consumption.

Waterway law permits passengers to enjoy alcoholic beverages and does not attempt to regulate consumption, except where state and local laws typically apply. One area that does apply to passengers in many states? Once a person puts on a pair of water skis, they are subject to the same penalties as the boat captain for boating while intoxicated if caught skiing under the influence.

About LifeTips

Now one of the top on-line publishers in the world, LifeTips offers tips to millions of monthly visitors. Our mission mission is to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Expert writers earn dough for what they know. And exclusive sponsors in each niche topic help us make-it-all happen.

Not finding the advice and tips you need on this DUI Tip Site? Request a Tip Now!

Guru Spotlight
Joe Wallace