Boating while impaired is an offence under the Criminal Code of Canada

Boatsmartcanada.com wants all boaters to operate their boats safely and remember to leave the beer on the pier! Boaters should never consume alcohol while boating. Alcohol is a factor in more than 40% of boating related fatalities. Boater fatigue caused by hot sun, wind, noise, vibration and boat motion can quadruple the effects of alcohol on water versus when you are on land.

Alcohol can have a number of negative effects:

  • If you are operating a boat while impaired you will be less attentive.
  • Slower reaction and reflex times.
  • Reduced motor skills, peripheral vision and balance - putting you at greater risk of falling overboard.
  • Poorer depth perception, vision and focus.
  • Inner ear disturbances which make it harder to distinguish the water surface if you fall in.
  • Accelerated hypothermia since alcohol lowers the body's resistance to cold.

Boat operators with more than 80 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood are liable to the following fines:

  • 1st offence: at least $600 fine
  • 2nd offence: at least 14 days of imprisonment
  • 3rd offence: at least 90 days of imprisonment
  • The maximum sentence may vary depending on provincial statutes.

Be a smart boater and leave the beer on the pier!

Boating and alcohol don't mix

Don't drink and drive a boat