Colorado law prohibits anyone from boating under the influence (BUI)—that is, operating any vessel propelled by a motor or sail, including all paddlecraft, or manipulating water skis, aquaplanes, or similar devices, while under the influence of alcohol, a controlled substance, any drugs, or any combination of these substances.
Alcohol and drugs cause impaired balance, blurred vision, poor coordination, impaired judgment, and slower reaction times. Alcohol is a major contributor to boating accidents and fatalities.
Colorado law states that a person is considered to be boating under the influence if he or she:
- Has a blood or breath alcohol concentration of 0.08% or greater or...
- Is under the influence of alcohol or...
- Is under the influence of any controlled substance, any other drug, or any combination of these substances that renders him or her incapable of operating safely.
It is illegal for the owner or operator of a motorboat or sailboat to knowingly permit the vessel to be operated by someone under the influence of alcohol, a controlled substance, any drug, or any combination of these substances that renders that person incapable of safely operating the vessel.