Many take New Year’s Eve to toast the new year optimistically, popping champagne and celebrating with good friends and loved ones. If you own a boat, it’s a great excuse to get on the water and enjoy some nearby fireworks as you welcome midnight with friends, music and fun. However, many are tempted to add alcohol to the mix while operating their boat, leading to dangerous and potentially deadly results.
Let’s run down a few key facts before you decide to boat under the influence this New Year’s Eve:
- Drinking and boating is just as dangerous as drinking and driving, increasing boating fatalities by nearly 34%.
- Penalties for being caught drinking and boating include extensive fines, suspension or forfeiture of boating license and prison time if an alcohol-related fatality occurs.
- It is illegal to operate a boat with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher.
- It is illegal for a minor to have a blood alcohol concentration of .o2 or higher while on your vessel.
- Physical or chemical tests may be used to determine your blood alcohol concentration if you are suspected of drinking and boating.
- It is also illegal to boat while impaired by other illicit drugs.
Though it may seem like a great opportunity to pop some bubbly or crack open a few cans with your best buds, it’s smart to assign a designated boat operator for the night or just enjoy a drink once safely back on shore. Beyond just a smart choice, remember that it’s also the law. Drinking and boating presents dangerous and unnecessary risks that could lead to you spending cash on tickets or time behind bars in 2016. Do we have to remind you that there’s no boating in jail? Didn’t think so.
That being said, we sincerely hope you welcome 2016 the right way: enjoying Florida’s beautiful waterways responsibly. Cheers!