It's the Law

Alcohol and Drugs


Vermont law prohibits anyone from boating while intoxicated (BWI) due to alcohol, drugs, or any combination.

Vermont law states that a person is considered to be intoxicated if he or she has a concentration of alcohol of 0.08% or more (based on a chemical analysis of breath or blood) or is under the influence of alcohol or any other drug to a degree that he or she is incapable of operating safely.

Vermont law establishes the following penalties.

  • Upon first conviction, offenders lose the privilege to operate any vessel (except for a non-motorized canoe or rowboat) for up to one year, must complete successfully an alcohol program at their own expense, and are fined up to $750.
  • Upon subsequent convictions, the fine is increased up to $1,000.
  • A person boating while intoxicated who causes the death of someone will, upon conviction, be imprisoned for up to 15 years, fined up to $10,000, or both imprisoned and fined.

Vermont law has special provisions for operators under 21 years of age.

  • It is unlawful for those under 21 years to operate with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.02% or more.
  • For a first violation, the offender loses the privilege to operate any vessel (except for non-motorized canoe or rowboat) for at least six months and must complete successfully an alcohol program at their own expense. For subsequent violations, privilege to operate is lost for one year or until the person is 21 years old, whichever is longer.
  • A person under 21 years old who refuses to submit to a breath test is subject to the same penalties as BWI.

By operating a vessel on Vermont waters, you have consented to be tested for alcohol or drugs if requested by a law enforcement officer.

BUI
Just remember this simple rule: Don’t Drink and Boat!