About the Study Guide

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Pennsylvania Law Regarding Alcohol and Drugs

Pennsylvania law prohibits anyone from boating while under the influence (BUI). That is, you may not operate a vessel while you are intoxicated due to alcohol or any combination of alcohol, controlled substances, or drugs. 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.

Pennsylvania law limits the consumption of alcohol as follows.

  • Alcoholic beverages are prohibited on land and water at all state parks and at most U.S. Army Corps of Engineers projects.
  • A person is considered to be over the legal limit if he or she has a blood alcohol concentration of:
    • 0.08% and is 21 years of age or older or …
    • 0.02% and is under 21 years of age.
Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC)

Because you can drink faster than your system can burn off the alcohol, there is an increasing level of alcohol in your blood. This level is referred to as Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC).

Blood Alcohol Concentration
Penalties for Operating Under the Influence

Pennsylvania law establishes the following criminal penalties for persons who are convicted:

  • Fines and/or imprisonment and …
  • The loss of boating privileges for up to one year.

Pre-arrest breath tests may be used by officers to determine the probability that a vessel operator is under the influence.

BUI Enforcement