When the sun is beating down on the lakes and oceans in Canada, people want to take to the water for a little fun. Boating is the best way to get sun, fun, and a little bit of beach time for anyone who wants to go out on one, but it can also be deadly if you don’t treat your boat with respect.
Everyone knows that impaired driving in a vehicle is against the law, but very few people understand those impaired driving laws can also extend to the water. That’s why police want all boaters to understand that operating a boat safely means not drinking and boating.
If you drink alcohol while driving your boat you could have slower reaction times, reduced motor skills, poor depth perception, and accelerated hypothermia because alcohol will lower your body’s resistance to cold water. The hot sun can affect the way you metabolize alcohol too, making you feel extremely intoxicated after only one or two drinks.
When you put someone with alcohol in their system behind the wheel of a boat, the results could be disastrous. Not only could you crash your boat into another boat or land, killing someone in the process, but you can also be charged with impaired driving over 80 if you’re stopped by police on the water.
And there are police on the water, waiting with a breathalyzer for drivers who they suspect of boating under the influence. A first offense will net you a minimum of $600 fine, while a second offense will land you 14 days in jail. If you decide to boat under the influence a third time, you could spend 90 days in jail.
Your best bet for a safe and happy summer is to leave your alcohol on shore and never get behind the wheel of a boat while intoxicated.