Here’s something you might want to consider and think about when the next cruise in/out comes up. It seems that the U.S. Coast Guard came out with statistics and boating safety rules for “Boating Under The Influence” (BUI).  It seems like all boaters, while under the influence, should have designated drivers. There are pages and pages on the Internet covering this. We feel you are already aware of the law and rules, so we thought we’d share some of the high points with you.

It seems there are 76 million people who enjoy boating on America’s waterways each year, many are not aware of the very real, life threatening dangers associated with consuming alcohol and boating. To help reduce the incidents of BUI, the United States Coast Guard (USCG) has initiated a major, nationwide campaign to warn Americans about the dangers of alcohol consumption and boating.

What Will Happen to the Impaired Operator If Stopped By the Coast Guard?

When the Coast Guard determines that an operator is impaired, the voyage will be terminated. The vessel will be brought to mooring either by Coast Guard tow, a member of the Coast Guard crew, or a competent, untoxicated, person on board of the recreational vessel. Depending on the circumstances, the operator may then be arrested, detained until sober, or turned over to State or local authorities.

Consider these alternatives to alcohol and boating:

Take along a variety of sodas, a jug of water, ice tea, or lemonade, or take along non-alcoholic beer

Take along plenty of food

Wear clothes that will keep you cool

Appoint a designated driver.


Boating Safety Education:

Throughout the country each year, over 2,000 safe boating courses are offered by groups such as the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, the U.S. Power Squadrons, the American Red Cross, and individual States. Courses cover many aspects of boating safety – from boat handling to reading the weather. All courses include knowledge and warning about alcohol and boating. For more information on finding a course near you that will fit your schedule – call the toll-free U.S. Coast Guard Infoline at 1-800-368-5647 or view Boating Safety Courses on our Web site.

Widespread education and public awareness of the dangers of alcohol. Every boater, whether an operator or passenger, should cooperate in spreading this word.