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Boating and drinking question....

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  • Boating and drinking question....

    How does drinking alcohol on a boat work? I totally get the driver shouldn't be drinking just like a car but are you able to have beer and open containers on a boat? I cant find a clear answer on this. For reference I would be boating in Wisconsin, Illinois, and/or Michigan.

    Thanks.

  • #2
    In illinois, there can be open containers, but the driver cannot be drinking.

    2000 Rinker Fiesta Vee 270-5.7 Mercruiser/TBI/Bravo 3
    1986 Smokercraft 161 Magnum-1986 Mariner 75 O/B

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    • #3
      It is more difficult in a boat, i'm always spilling my beer :-)

      Or, check the official state rules and regulations at their website, not hard to find.
      e.g.
      *
      https://www.dnr.illinois.gov/news/pa...sfamilies.aspx
      Dennis
      20' 1987 Renken Cuddy Cabin
      AQ131C 270 drive
      Southern NJ

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      • #4
        Originally posted by showstoppr88 View Post
        How does drinking alcohol on a boat work? I totally get the driver shouldn't be drinking just like a car but are you able to have beer and open containers on a boat? I cant find a clear answer on this. For reference I would be boating in Wisconsin, Illinois, and/or Michigan.

        Thanks.

        It works great as long as you have enough ice and can keep things cold. Sometimes we run out of Bud Lite or Corona, so make sure you pack the cooler accordingly to your crew's brand preferences.

        Driver should not be drunk per legal definition - same as a car.

        check your local laws for any specifics.
        Best regards, Ted . . . . Cape Cod, MA

        Formula 330 Sun Sport, O'Day Mariner Sail #3224, Sunfish
        Past Boats: Catalina 22 Sail #10531, Formula 242 Sun Sport
        Twin Mercruiser 7.4 LX MPI (0F802036, 039), Bravo 3's (0F806198, 199), Mercury 7.5 HP (1969), Johnson 4.5 HP (1980)

        My Boating Web Pages: http://www.tpenfield.com

        Member of the Month - February 2013

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        • #5
          In Michigan there can be open containers but the person piloting the boat cannot drink while underway.
          Rick Grew

          1981 Carver 3007 Aft Cabin

          2004 Past Commodore
          West River Yacht & Cruising Club
          www.wrycc.com

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          • #6
            Some lakes don't allow alcohol so check the lake rules.

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            • #7
              If you happen to have a boating accident or incident with injuries or death, THEN the beers you've been drinking come back to bite you hard in the butt.....they call it felony DUI or DWI or BWI or whatever and It's not a joke and it can ruin your life....and your family's life...

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              • #8
                Up here in Alberta no alcohol on the boat unless it's equipped with a bathroom and sink.
                sigpic 2004 Caravelle 187

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by 89retta View Post
                  Up here in Alberta no alcohol on the boat unless it's equipped with a bathroom and sink.
                  And even then you have to be anchoured for the day. Actually the no booze in a boat is a Federal Jurisdiction thing. The Provinces and Municipalities have very little say on lakes and rivers, though some try to make like they do.
                  The way some of the Lake Lice behave on Wabuman, they must be 4 sheets to the wind.

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                  • #10
                    The only regulation in Wisconsin states that you cannot operate a watercraft or ski/tube/wakeboard, etc if you are under the influence or have a BAC of .08 or higher. From my experience boating in Wisconsin, everything is pretty relaxed. Just don't do anything stupid.

                    With that being said, different lakes are patrolled by local municipalities. The lake a live on is small and has one police boat that is only out about 6 days out of the year. He will watch from shore with his boat covered though to see if anyone is doing anything stupid. He stopped me once the day I launched my new to me pontoon because 2 different colored stickers were showing. I had a beer in my cupholder, he just verified it wasn't in a glass container (illegal on many wisconsin lakes so know the rules of each lake), asked how many I had (it was my first one), went through the standard safety check and let me off with a verbal warning for the sticker since all my paperwork was in order and no other infractions.

                    5 things they look at in Wisconsin: Registration (proof of insurance not currently required), PFDs (under 13 has to be wearing at all times, 1 for each person 13 and older on the boat) Throwables (I always have 2 in the boat since the admiral likes the seat cushion ones) charged fire extinguisher, and covered battery.

                    Met him on the sandbar later when he was off duty and gave him a beer.

                    Other lakes are not as forgiving. Like I said, it is up to the municipality to patrol the lake and some lakes are very strict with these types of things. My advice, go to the area where people anchor and party (every lake has one) or a bar on the lake if it has one and talk to the locals.

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                    • #11
                      Wisconsin regulations, alcohol and drugs is on page 16, very vague, open for interpretation. Again, talk to the locals about how local lakes treat it.

                      http://dnr.wi.gov/files/PDF/pubs/LE/LE0301.pdf

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                      • #12
                        Thanks all this has been helpful!!!

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by wahlejim View Post
                          Five things they look at in Wisconsin: Registration (proof of insurance not currently required), PFDs (under 13 has to be wearing at all times, 1 the boat) Throwables (I always have 2 in the boat since the admiral likes the seat cushion ones) charged fire extinguisher, and covered battery.
                          Interesting.....here's its registration, a throwable with 15-20 ft. of rope attached and a number of unexpired signally devices, i.e. Flares or flare gun.
                          Batteries must be secured, not covered. Must have fully charged fire extinguisher (and pass shake test) and nav lights must be operational.

                          Alcohol consumption is ok, can't be legally intoxicated
                          ....

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by showstoppr88 View Post
                            How does drinking alcohol on a boat work? I totally get the driver shouldn't be drinking just like a car but are you able to have beer and open containers on a boat? I cant find a clear answer on this. For reference I would be boating in Wisconsin, Illinois, and/or Michigan.

                            Thanks.
                            Varies by state. So you need to contact the appropriate agency for the states where you will be boating for definitive answers.

                            Texas allows drinking on the boat. But the DUI vs BUI (Boating While Intoxicated) BAC limit is the same as for driving a car and it counts EXACTLY as a DUI in a car. (including auto license suspension/revocation if convicted or for refusing the breath test.)

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                            • #15
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                              We in Canada are dry on the water unless you basically own a cruiser with a permanent washroom with pump out, not a Porta Potty, and must have fixed cooking facilities and only when anchored. I am more than happy with that. Nothing like being trapped in a boat miles from shore with a drunken idiot. I live by "Booze on the dock and water on the boat when water is under it." My boat is a booze free zone. All the infractions on the water here go against your driving record and and boating auto insurance costs, not worth it. I know idiots that are paying a grand a month or more for auto insurance because of DUI's.

                              As far as I remember anchored means to a fixed object, not the bottom or a buoy so you are basically docked.
                              Experience is a lifetime of mistakes, wisdom is not making them again.

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