Most people consider boating a fun and relaxing endeavor, which means alcohol often finds its way aboard sea-faring vessels. The truth is, drinking and boating are extremely dangerous, as they can cause serious injuries or even legal problems. MADD debunks some of the myths surrounding boating and drinking.
Boating while intoxicated is illegal. Just like when driving, operating a boat with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher will get you arrested. Additionally, the type of boat you're operating won't spare you trouble. Even if you're in a boat without a motor, you can still be cited and arrested if you're caught. Additionally, multiple local and federal officials routinely take to the water in search of inebriated boaters, so your chances of being apprehended are pretty high.
Boats aren't merely toys for your amusement. Operating a boat requires a degree of skill and concentration, especially when you're navigating congested waters. Keep in mind you're more likely to die as a result of a boat crash if you're inebriated. Also, operating a boat is not as easy as some people believe. It's very easy to make a wrong maneuver after drinking, especially when boating at night or being distracted by passengers.
Lastly, you can get in trouble for boating while under the influence of other substances. Marijuana, prescription drugs, and all other intoxicants are not permitted while boating, as they can drastically impact a person's ability to reacting to situations and use proper judgment. Passengers should also steer clear of intoxicants while boating. The risk of drowning is much higher when a person is intoxicated, even for those with strong swimming skills.