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Old 07-12-2004, 03:13 PM   #1
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Default Passengers and alcohol

What is the law on passengers and drinking alcohol on a boat? I've heard that the law has changed and that it is now similar to that of a car however see many passengers drinking out on the water?
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Old 07-12-2004, 03:22 PM   #2
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I have not heard of any changes. But that doesn’t mean there are none.
Common sense would dictate you do not advertise if you are drinking.
But this is a perfect example of why the boating safety course should not be a one time thing.
Rules change all the time without us ever being aware of them. There should be a refresher course every 5 years or so.
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Old 07-12-2004, 05:14 PM   #3
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Post No changes to State law...

There have been no new laws implemented at the State level in reference to open alcohol beverage containers in boats.

That does not mean that local ordinances on particular bodies or areas of waterways throughout the State have changed.

There are no statewide data bases covering all local communities.

If in doubt about local ordinances, feel free to call the police department in the area you intend to boat in.
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Old 07-13-2004, 08:24 AM   #4
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Actually,as best as I remember,there is no law against passengers OR operators of boats drinking while underway.I think each town has there own law as far as having an open container when tied to a dock in that town.Obviously,if your drinking and operating you are subject to the same sobriety levels and penalties that go with OUI-Operating Under the Influence.I heard of a person that got bagged for just that July 3rd.Be smart and use the same criteria you would for operating/not operating a motor vehicle on the road.
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Old 07-13-2004, 08:36 AM   #5
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Default Passengers can drink

Passengers can drink like fish if they like. There is no law against it on a boat. The operator can as well... but must be under .08 - OR .03 in "consideration of other factors." Basically, one drink by the operator can potentially put the person over .03 and the Marine Patrol can use that and any reasonable cause to treat anything over .03 as an OUI. I think that having a half dozen drinking passengers on board may be considered reasonable cause to stop a boat and investigate. Best bet... save the drinking for a more appropriate time and place.
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