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Old     (jonblarc7)      Join Date: Jul 2006       07-24-2006, 1:20 PM Reply   
I know that boating and drinking don't mix. But if was just out relaxing and wanted a cold one. Could anybody tell me what is allowed and what will get me in trouble. I live in N.C.
Old     (denverd1)      Join Date: May 2004       07-24-2006, 1:33 PM Reply   
In TX, no open container law but same rules apply on the boat as they do in a car - in terms of operating under the influence.

Different from car: minors on the boat are not allowed with alcohol at all. in a car you can put it "out of reach"
Old     (acurtis_ttu)      Join Date: May 2004       07-24-2006, 1:37 PM Reply   
Laws on that will vary from state to state, but getting a BWI is usually worse than a DWI.
Old    awsnow            07-24-2006, 1:59 PM Reply   
Try this link:,000005,000080
Old     (psudy)      Join Date: Dec 2003       07-24-2006, 2:25 PM Reply   
DUIs are worse than BUIs in KS. I can't imagine that your state puts more emphasis on buis than duis.
Old     (acurtis_ttu)      Join Date: May 2004       07-24-2006, 2:57 PM Reply   
Paul, the laws read the same for BWI/DWI, but b/c you can be stopped on the water for a "safety check" they are harder to get out of. (why I said BWI is worse) On top of that many lakeside communties have put lots of pressure on local authrities to crack down on it.
Old     (oaf)      Join Date: Jul 2002       07-24-2006, 3:03 PM Reply   
In CA Driving Under the Influence is the same no mater what you are driving (including a bicycle). As for having one or two on the lake or river or whatever that is fine. Just be under the legal limit. That and I wouldn't be driving with an open container, that would be another violation in it self. Most of the time once I have had too many my wife drives and I don't worry about the BUI thing. It is not worth the money and time a DUI will cost in the long run.
Old     (showtime)      Join Date: Nov 2005       07-24-2006, 4:05 PM Reply   
blair, hit me up -- open container is ok --even for the driver while the boat is under tow, however, in the event you are pulled and the driver is asked to blow and blows over the legal limit, the boat is towed in... everyone else on hte oat can literally be sheetfaced w/ no repercussion. as long as they aren't plumb out of hand... what lake are you on?
Old     (zo1)      Join Date: Aug 2002       07-24-2006, 4:21 PM Reply   
For NC, what showtime said ^^^

We have been checked a few times on Falls. Just a routine check and we all had beers or wine and never a word was said.
Old     (buzz_grande)      Join Date: Mar 2004       07-24-2006, 5:36 PM Reply   
Every state is a little different. I guess it goes without sying that you should not be blasted and drive. I Calif, you can actually drive and have a beer, There is no volation. It would be pretty stupid to salute the ranger or sheriff as they go by - kind of an invite to come and visit Mr. Stupid, but you are in big caca if you get stopped and are BUI. Just don't do it.
Old    jolly_roger_wake            07-24-2006, 6:41 PM Reply   
in ks you can drive with an open container in your hand while chugging it, just gotta keep the b.a. below the legal level by drinking lots of lake water with the beer. or i guess you could just drink less beer.
Old     (ktmwakeboarder)      Join Date: Jun 2004       07-25-2006, 3:40 PM Reply   
My understanding in CA is that a driver can actually be drinking and driving as long as they stay under 0.08 (so basically you can't drink much at all). Everyone else is the boat can be wasted.

I think it is ridiculous that riding your bike drunk is the same punishment as driving a car drunk. Idiotic law imo
Old     (rmitchell242)      Join Date: Dec 2005       07-25-2006, 4:22 PM Reply   
can anybody verify what kevin is saying about CA in the above post?
Old     (buzz_grande)      Join Date: Mar 2004       07-25-2006, 4:47 PM Reply   

Yup. Rangers told me. Looked it up a while back also. As long as you are not BUI (.08%BAC - just like in a car). Takes most of us normal-sized humans about 4 beers to make it to .08 BAC. Still no excuse to be stupid or careless. Some peeps are wasted at that level.
Old     (ktmwakeboarder)      Join Date: Jun 2004       07-25-2006, 5:01 PM Reply   
At a boat show in Pleasanton 2 years ago, the Sherriff's had one of the first booths and I asked about the drinking thing, and that is what he told me. You can drive by a law enforcement boat and be drinking a beer while you drive, and it is legal as long as you stay under 0.08. Of course, that isn't the most birlliant thing to do. The guy was really nice and gave me a free skiier-down flag too :-)

Buzz- isn't it closer to 2 beers to reach .08 BAC?
Old     (clubjoe)      Join Date: Sep 2005       07-25-2006, 6:08 PM Reply   
Thought I'd chime in and muddy the water a bit.....For on road driving (CA), .08 is the slam dunk limit, but CA law provides for alternative DUIs. You only need to be -impaired- to be DUI, and it's NOT UP TO YOU to to make that determination. Impaired doesn't mean just drunk, either. It could be meds/pot/narcotics/etc......

I don't know what the specifics for boat ops are, but I've never heard, or looked into it. I would have guessed it is the same or similar.....

Buzz, did the ranger site any specific nav codes, or was it a cool ranger trying to set the tone? (Now I gotta find out!)

As far as passengers go, EVERYONE drinking is a potential ride to the pokey, cuz they're in public, and sobriety is subject to interpretation... (remember the ol' Don Pedro idiot post)

I would imagine water stops are more "flexible"......Buzz is absolutely right about the "mister stupid" moves. Attitude can carry a lot of weight......
Old     (ktmwakeboarder)      Join Date: Jun 2004       07-25-2006, 6:39 PM Reply   
Interesting point about still being in public.
Old     (yosquire)      Join Date: Jun 2005       07-25-2006, 11:54 PM Reply   
Washington State is pretty hard on this issue. No open container in the cab of a car. Anything above .00 can be (and is) considered DUI. And +.08 is DWI.

Open containers on boats are legal, driver can't be drinking.

An acquaintance I know just got a BWI while canoeing down in Oregon. Yes, you can get a BWI in a boat with no engine.

A floating boat is considered 'underway.' An Anchored boat is not 'underway.' Thus, you're floating down the river engine off, cop pulls up and gives you a BWI.

Some other friends of mine were tied up with 4 other boats. Cop pulled up and wrote everyone over 21 onboard all the boats for Contributing to the delinquency of a minor for one underage person drinking. (ouch)}
Old     (ktmwakeboarder)      Join Date: Jun 2004       07-26-2006, 12:54 AM Reply   
Retarded and excessive persecution like that really pisses me off. BWI in a freakin canoe?!? Come on, go give tickets to the drunk people driving big boats that can actually harm people and property.

Similar to how getting a BUI (bicycle) pisses me off. In Davis, we would often bike to and from parties in an effort to avoid drunk driving, and yet it is the same punishment?! Ridiculous. And some people wonder why so many people of the younger generations hate the police
Old     (auto)      Join Date: Aug 2002       07-26-2006, 4:12 AM Reply   
I miss the days of open container for the driver in Texas. In texas you can get a DUI for Wakeboarding drunk, although, I would make a bet that one could beat in court, no actual physical control of the motor vehicle.
Old     (talltigeguy)      Join Date: Sep 2003       07-26-2006, 4:29 AM Reply   
I think that kevin is right about how many beers to reach 0.08. If you have 2 beers relatively quickly (say in 1/2 hour) with no food, you will be at about 0.08.
Old     (psudy)      Join Date: Dec 2003       07-26-2006, 6:58 AM Reply   
I cannot speak for other states, but in KS and MO, BUIs are not the same as DUIs, and do not effect your drivers licence. They carry stiff monetary fines, and you have to take a boater education class before you can get back on the water. First offense is a class b misdomeaner(sp??) and then it ramps up from there.
Old     (ktmwakeboarder)      Join Date: Jun 2004       07-26-2006, 9:33 AM Reply   
haha so maybe I did learn something in college!!
Old     (duffy)      Join Date: Feb 2006       07-26-2006, 12:03 PM Reply   
Im in Florida and I talked to a cop about this very subject and im sure it varies state to state.He told me I could drink a beer right in front of him but, If he feels Im over my limit than he can take action. Just be smart about it dont get wasted on the boat but you can have a few beers.
Old     (acurtis_ttu)      Join Date: May 2004       07-26-2006, 12:19 PM Reply   
Paul, and to anyone else in Texas your driving record is affected the same. Automatic liscense suspension if you refuse to blow (you can file for an occupational liscense). The freakin costs to fight a BWI is ridiculous similar to DWI. In a perfect world they should have differnt severities of BWI....the guy who is idling 50 yards back to a dock should not have the same penalties as some knob going 70 across a lake at nite. I guess that'll be for the courts to decide.
Old     (psudy)      Join Date: Dec 2003       07-26-2006, 12:25 PM Reply   
Adam, I am not in Texas. I was talking about KS and Mo law.
Old     (acurtis_ttu)      Join Date: May 2004       07-26-2006, 12:37 PM Reply   
should have put that in parnethesis, I meant it as an FYI to anyone who was in Texas and curious, sorry fo rthe confusion.
Old     (psudy)      Join Date: Dec 2003       07-26-2006, 12:44 PM Reply   
No prob.
Old     (troyl)      Join Date: Feb 2002       07-26-2006, 1:27 PM Reply   
Depending on the type of beer it takes over 4 beers in one hour to get to the .08 limit at 185lbs. 6 beers in 3 hours and your still under the limit just barely. Everyone handles alcohol differently so this has nothing to do with BUI. Just the BAC of .08. You can still be busted and "drunk" at .04.

Coors Light/Bud Light is 4.2% and most standard beers and basic imports are around 5% with a few specials running 6-10%

Utah and Oklahoma have this law:
3.2% ABW or less in stores
ABW > 3.2% only sold at room temperature in state liquor stores.
North Carolina : 15% ABV cap on beer IS THAT MUD or what????
South Carolina : 6.25% ABV cap on beer
Old     (jaybird)      Join Date: May 2006       07-26-2006, 2:03 PM Reply   
Good BEER (California Brewing Co.INC)senceless plug... good Boarding, nice lake, good company now this is some of the reasons to own a boat. If you own a boat contact your local sheriff and get a boaters safety guide (FREE) it will have all the regulations for all your local lakes.
keep it real. Keep EVERYONE on the water safe and let everyone on the water go home at the end of the day. Know your limits! But GOOD GOD drink Good BEER
Old     (clubjoe)      Join Date: Sep 2005       07-26-2006, 2:50 PM Reply   
Craig--Those stories you posted sounded way out there (I'm not saying I don't believe them)....If it was that cut-n-dry, then I would think it's -WAY- the exception, not the rule...


A) Boater/s A-holes, or thought they were in-field attorneys trying to tell the cop (aka-the one who decides...period) how to do their job.

B) Cop trying to save the world, or MAJOR A-hole.

C) Repeat/ongoing problems or some supervisor directing action.

I've run across cop-types in many different situations, and -so far- found them very flexible when approached with the understanding that they hold -ALL- the cards..........You can't escape the fact that you may get the one guy that won't budge, but they prolly wouldn't budge I try to give em every opportunity to WANT to let me go......Sometimes the SITUATION dictates what has to be done too......

(Message edited by clubjoe on July 26, 2006)
Old    bobthomas            07-26-2006, 4:51 PM Reply   
Is Google inaccessible in California for some reason?

Real answers CA to BUI/open container questions here:
Old     (clubjoe)      Join Date: Sep 2005       07-26-2006, 6:38 PM Reply   
(as bobthomas is going to the pokey).........."Hey ********!? I only had 2 beers in the last 3hrs!!! The chart on google said i could!!! You don't know what yer talkin' about!!! I'm not drunk!!!!! You didn't even read me my riiiiiiiightsssss!!!!!!"
Old     (ktmwakeboarder)      Join Date: Jun 2004       07-26-2006, 7:02 PM Reply   
Old    bobthomas            07-26-2006, 7:19 PM Reply   
clubjoe, my comment was aimed at the obvious answer to the open container question.

The side conversations about beer intake just happened to also be adressed by the Department of Boating and Waterways (not google...) brochure.

It amazing that folks have access to such a great deal of information via the internet but are too lazy? confused? etc. to spend a few seconds to get the right answer.

Stay safe
Old     (yosquire)      Join Date: Jun 2005       07-26-2006, 8:01 PM Reply   
Was just going to do some research of my own and... My state has a wakeboarder on their home page. granted, it's a wakeboarder from 1996, but none the less!
Old     (clubjoe)      Join Date: Sep 2005       07-26-2006, 8:11 PM Reply   
BT---jus yankin yer chain , but there is a -LOT- more to these subjects than meets the eye......

That brochure is good, like "Windows For Dummies" books are for understanding your computer....It only scratches the surface.
Old     (klpnautique)      Join Date: Jun 2005       07-26-2006, 10:22 PM Reply   
Just think, I have been hiding my beer from "The Man" for all of these years....Just kidding, because drinking and boating is bad.....but fun, kinda like strippers!
Old     (rmitchell242)      Join Date: Dec 2005       07-26-2006, 10:45 PM Reply   
well bob i read that link before i asked for my confirmation.

Since there is no date on this Link, Bob with the wealth of knowledge that you posess while you are at your computer find for me the governor of california.

Now note that that current governor is not listed in your little link.

Now find me the governor that is listed in your link.
Please find for me how long it has been since Gray Davis has been our Governor.
Now tell me with a link that is ____ years old(bob is going to fill in the blank for us as i am too lazy) would you feel comfortable getting in a boat, driving the boat and throwing a cheers up at your local sherrif?

I think that you can find several articles on this but not one current link that i have found clearly states that you can have a beer in hand and drive legaly
Old     (klpnautique)      Join Date: Jun 2005       07-26-2006, 10:55 PM Reply   
I thought too that a couple of years ago here in CA that they did pass the "no open container for the boat driver" law... Just something that has been in the back of my head.
Old     (mattkrull)      Join Date: Apr 2004       07-27-2006, 12:00 AM Reply   
Here is Washington
Old     (tonysdad)      Join Date: Jul 2005       07-28-2006, 9:33 AM Reply   
Also in CA the same .08 BAC rules apply if your just riding and not driving the boat(wakeboard, wakeskate, even if you're just tubing).
Old     (psudy)      Join Date: Dec 2003       07-28-2006, 9:53 AM Reply   
Thats the dumbest thing I have ever heard. I would fight tooth and nail if some tried to give me a BWI while I was riding in the boat, or while I was WBing.
Old     (jaybird)      Join Date: May 2006       07-28-2006, 11:14 AM Reply   
Call your local "sheriff boating safty" its in the blue section of your phone book look under your county. I just called and got the low-down for my local lakes also Its a good Idea to get the name and badge # of the sheriff you talk to pu it in your boating bag then you have some creditable evidence you searched the laws and you know them if you get stoped on the water.
just my 02
Old     (brucemac)      Join Date: Dec 2005       07-28-2006, 1:37 PM Reply   
RE Washington State (Matt and Craig)

that link really leaves a lot of wiggle room doesn't it. on the one hand they're saying you're OUI with .08, but on the other hand they're saying you're OUI if you take just one sip aren't they? it's really leaves the discretion up to the officer. Also I didn't realize the driver could not have an open container. Is that for sure 100%?

with that said, the driver can have an open container if he's anchored right?

(Message edited by brucemac on July 28, 2006)
Old     (jaybird)      Join Date: May 2006       07-28-2006, 2:04 PM Reply   
There isent an "open container law" in california on the water the driver of the boat can be holding a beer driving the boat and not get a ticket for that. as of sheryl badge #1805 of the shasta county sheriffs office boating devision.
Old    vessel_assist            07-29-2006, 11:34 AM Reply   
Along with that BUI usually comes an impound of your boat. That's when they call me. It is expensive to get your boat back, and no insurance anywhere will pay that bill.
Old     (rvh3)      Join Date: Jul 2003       07-29-2006, 1:53 PM Reply   
If I remember correctly from a driving class a few years ago, you can get a DUI on a bicycle. But, it can't be enforced against your driving record since you aren't required to have a license to ride a bicycle. This is in Calif.


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