Boating Under the Influence

Can you drink while boating? Consider these facts and laws…

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Boating and Drinking Laws by State

Just like driving under the influence (DUI), it is illegal to drink and operate a boat in all 50 states, with each state enforcing their own unique penalties for those caught boating under the influence. These include large fines, possible jail time, and a potential effect on your driver’s license.

According to the U.S. Coast Guard, roughly half of all boating fatalities involve alcohol. If that statistic alone doesn’t keep you from drinking and boating, then maybe the legal consequences will!

So if the question “can I drink on a boat?” has ever crossed your mind, take a look below and see what your state has to say about boating under the influence (BUI). If you’re interested in getting your boating education card, you can start studying for free through Boat Ed.

Alabama
Alabama BUI Laws »
Legal Blood Alcohol Limit: 0.08%
Penalties: Large fines and/or jail time plus suspension of operator's certification
Alaska
Alaska BUI Laws »
Legal Blood Alcohol Limit: 0.08%
Penalties: Large fines, jail time, and a conviction may affect your driver’s license
Arizona
Arizona BUI Laws »
Legal Blood Alcohol Limit: 0.08%
Penalties: Large fines and possible jail time
Arkansas
Arkansas BUI Laws »
Legal Blood Alcohol Limit: 0.08% if 21 or older
Penalties: Large fines and/or jail time, loss of operating privileges, and completion of alcohol education program
California
California BUI Laws »
Legal Blood Alcohol Limit: 0.08% if 21 or older
Penalties: Large fines, jail time, and possible suspension of your driver’s license
Colorado
Colorado BUI Laws »
Legal Blood Alcohol Limit: 0.08%
Penalties: Large fines, jail time, and loss of operating privileges
Delaware
Delaware BUI Laws »
Legal Blood Alcohol Limit: 0.08%
Penalties: Large fines and possible jail time
District of Columbia
District of Columbia BUI Laws »
Legal Blood Alcohol Limit: 0.08%
Penalties: Large fines, jail time, or both
Florida
Florida BUI Laws »
Legal Blood Alcohol Limit: 0.08%
Penalties: Large fines, jail time, and possible felony conviction
Georgia
Georgia BUI Laws »
Legal Blood Alcohol Limit: 0.08% if 21 or older
Penalties: Large fines, jail time, and possible loss of operating privileges until completion of DUI program
Hawaii
Hawaii BUI Laws »
Legal Blood Alcohol Limit: 0.08%
Penalties: Large fines, jail time, or both
Idaho
Idaho BUI Laws »
Legal Blood Alcohol Limit: 0.08% if 21 or older
Penalties: Large fines and/or jail time, loss of operating privileges, and completion of safe boating course
Illinois
Illinois BUI Laws »
Legal Blood Alcohol Limit: 0.08%
Penalties: Large fines and/or jail time plus possible felony conviction
Indiana
Indiana BUI Laws »
Legal Blood Alcohol Limit: 0.08%
Penalties: Large fines, jail time, and possible loss of driving and boating privileges
Iowa
Iowa BUI Laws »
Legal Blood Alcohol Limit: 0.08%
Penalties: Large fines, jail time, loss of operating privileges, and completion of drinking and driving course
Kansas
Kansas BUI Laws »
Legal Blood Alcohol Limit: 0.08% if 21 or older
Penalties: Large fines, jail time, possible loss of operating privileges, and completion of boater safety course
Kentucky
Kentucky BUI Laws »
Legal Blood Alcohol Limit: 0.08%
Penalties: Large fines and possible jail time
Louisiana
Louisiana BUI Laws »
Legal Blood Alcohol Limit: 0.08% if 21 or older
Penalties: Large fines and/or jail time plus possible loss of driving and boating privileges
Maine
Maine BUI Laws »
Legal Blood Alcohol Limit: 0.08% if 21 or older
Penalties: Large fines and/or jail time
Maryland
Maryland BUI Laws »
Legal Blood Alcohol Limit: 0.08%
Penalties: Large fines and/or jail time
Massachusetts
Massachusetts BUI Laws »
Legal Blood Alcohol Limit: 0.08%
Penalties: Large fines and/or jail time plus possible loss of driving and boating privileges
Michigan
Michigan BUI Laws »
Legal Blood Alcohol Limit: 0.08%
Penalties: Possible misdemeanor or felony conviction
Minnesota
Minnesota BUI Laws »
Legal Blood Alcohol Limit: 0.08%
Penalties: Large fines and/or jail time and/or loss of boating privileges during boating season
Mississippi
Mississippi BUI Laws »
Legal Blood Alcohol Limit: 0.08%
Penalties: Large fines and/or jail time, possible loss of operating privileges, and possible felony conviction
Missouri
Missouri BUI Laws »
Legal Blood Alcohol Limit: 0.08%
Penalties: Misdemeanor and completion of boating safety course
Montana
Montana BUI Laws »
Legal Blood Alcohol Limit: 0.08%
Penalties: Not specified
Nebraska
Nebraska BUI Laws »
Legal Blood Alcohol Limit: 0.08%
Penalties: Large fines, jail time, and loss of boating privileges
Nevada
Nevada BUI Laws »
Legal Blood Alcohol Limit: 0.08%
Penalties: Large fines, jail time, and possible felony conviction
New Hampshire
New Hampshire BUI Laws »
Legal Blood Alcohol Limit: 0.08%
Penalties: Large fines and loss of driving and boating privileges
New Jersey
New Jersey BUI Laws »
Legal Blood Alcohol Limit: 0.08%
Penalties: Large fines, possible jail time, and loss of driving and boating privileges
New Mexico
New Mexico BUI Laws »
Legal Blood Alcohol Limit: 0.08%
Penalties: Large fines and/or jail time plus completion of boating safety course
New York
New York BUI Laws »
Legal Blood Alcohol Limit: 0.08% if over 21
Penalties: Large fines, jail time, and loss of operating privileges
North Carolina
North Carolina BUI Laws »
Legal Blood Alcohol Limit: 0.08%
Penalties: Large fines and possible jail time
North Dakota
North Dakota BUI Laws »
Legal Blood Alcohol Limit: 0.10%
Penalties: Large fines and/or jail time plus loss of operating privileges
Ohio
Ohio BUI Laws »
Legal Blood Alcohol Limit: 0.08% if 21 or older
Penalties: Large fines and possible jail time
Oklahoma
Oklahoma BUI Laws »
Legal Blood Alcohol Limit: 0.08%
Penalties: Large fines
Oregon
Oregon BUI Laws »
Legal Blood Alcohol Limit: 0.08%
Penalties: Large fines and/or jail time, loss of operating privileges, completion of boating safety course, and cancellation of boat registrations
Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania BUI Laws »
Legal Blood Alcohol Limit: 0.08% if 21 or older
Penalties: Large fines and/or jail time plus loss of boating privileges
Rhode Island
Rhode Island BUI Laws »
Legal Blood Alcohol Limit: 0.08%
Penalties: Large fines and fees, possible jail time, loss of operating privileges, and attendance at a boating safety course
South Carolina
South Carolina BUI Laws »
Legal Blood Alcohol Limit: Not specified
Penalties: Large fines, possible jail time, loss of operating privileges, completion of an alcohol and drug course, and completion of a boating safety course
South Dakota
South Dakota BUI Laws »
Legal Blood Alcohol Limit: 0.08%
Penalties: Not specified
Tennessee
Tennessee BUI Laws »
Legal Blood Alcohol Limit: 0.08%
Penalties: Large fines, possible jail time, and possible loss of operating privileges
Texas
Texas BUI Laws »
Legal Blood Alcohol Limit: 0.08%
Penalties: Large fines and/or jail time
Utah
Utah BUI Laws »
Legal Blood Alcohol Limit: 0.08% if 21 or older
Penalties: Large fines, jail time, and possible loss of your driver's license
Vermont
Vermont BUI Laws »
Legal Blood Alcohol Limit: 0.08% if 21 or older
Penalties: Large fines, jail time, or both; loss of operating privileges; and completion of an alcohol program
Virginia
Virginia BUI Laws »
Legal Blood Alcohol Limit: 0.08% if 21 or older
Penalties: Large fines, jail time, loss of operating privileges, and attendance at an alcohol safety program
Washington
Washington BUI Laws »
Legal Blood Alcohol Limit: 0.08%
Penalties: Large fines, jail time, possible restitution for damages or injuries, and possible felony conviction
West Virginia
West Virginia BUI Laws »
Legal Blood Alcohol Limit: 0.08% if 21 or older
Penalties: Large fines and possible jail time
Wisconsin
Wisconsin BUI Laws »
Legal Blood Alcohol Limit: 0.08%
Penalties: Large fines, possible jail time, and possible completion of a boating safety course
Wyoming
Wyoming BUI Laws »
Legal Blood Alcohol Limit: 0.10%
Penalties: Large fines, jail time, and possible loss of operating privileges

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