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Rental Boat Safety Team

The Dangers of Alcohol When Boating

There is no doubt that alcohol while boating can have fatal consequences. The U.S. Coast Guard reported that alcohol was the leading known contributing factor in fatal boating accidents in 2020. All boat operators should be aware of the consequences of drinking before turning on the ignition and exiting the dock!

Boat U.S. Foundation reported that, in almost half of all reported boating, alcohol was involved. Alcohol negatively affects the body’s balance, judgment, and reaction time. We encourage all boat operators and passengers to make the safe and responsible decision and leave all alcohol behind when boating. If you know alcohol will be present, be sure to designate a sober boat driver that is committed to remaining sober and responsible. 

In most states, BUI (Boating Under the Influence) has the same consequences as a DUI (Driving Under the Influence). The risks, fatal accidents, or license or boat suspension to name a few, far outway any benefits. 

Intoxication can also have a fatal impact for swimmers, regardless of swimming experience. Drowning is another serious risk. Alcohol in the blood stream slows reaction times and impairs sensory input. These symptoms make it very difficult to safely stay out of danger when on the open water. According to the NASBLA Alcohol and Drug Research Summary, adult males are at the highest risk of drowning and alcohol-related injuries/fatalities. Learn more about how to reduce your risk of drowning here:

When planning your day on the water, be sure to pack plenty of snacks and stay hydrated with ice-cold water, or enjoy a juice or soda. Your decision to boat sober allows you, your family, and your friends to return home safely. Please consider the risks of consuming alcohol while boating. Fun does not require drinking!