Is Drinking While Boating Illegal?

This summer, make sure you understand this basic boating law.Is Drinking While Boating Illegal?

With summer right around the corner, you’re probably excited to take your boat out on the water. However, before you set out on your boating adventure, it’s important that you have a basic understanding of the most common boating laws. For instance, you should be aware of the legal implications of drinking while boating. Here’s everything you need to know.

It’s Illegal

Just like drunk driving, boating while under the influence of alcohol is illegal in all 50 states. It’s important to understand that your boat isn’t simply a fun recreational toy; it is a dangerous vehicle that has the ability to be dangerous if used irresponsibly. In some cases, operating a boat while under the influence of alcohol can lead to fatal accidents involving yourself, your passengers, and other innocent parties.


If you get caught operating a boat while drunk, you will receive a BUI (boating under the influence). As a result of this, your voyage might be terminated, your boat may be impounded, and you may get arrested. State penalties for a BUI range from fines to prison time to loss of boating privileges to loss of driving privileges.

Additional Information

It’s important to understand that it’s illegal to drink while operating any type of watercraft, even if it’s a boat without an engine. For instance, paddling a canoe while drinking would be breaking the law. Additionally, it’s also illegal to operate a boat while under the influence of other intoxicants besides alcohol. For instance, operating a watercraft under the influence of both legal and illegal drugs will incur penalties.

If you plan on taking your boat out this summer, then it’s important that you understand the basic boating laws.  Remember, just because you are being a responsible boater doesn’t mean that other drivers will follow suit.  This is why it’s so important to have the proper insurance to protect yourself against these boaters.  To find the right boat insurance to fit your needs, contact the experts at VGW Walker Insurance in Texas.  We are ready to get you covered today.