Drinking and driving behind the wheel of a car can have serious consequences. But what about DUI in Ontario? A lot of people are curious as to which drinking and driving guidelines apply to boats. Sure, it makes sense that you can’t drink and operate a speed boat or any motorized boat really, but what about kayaking and canoeing? Boats that don’t require the use of a motor? What about sailboats? Paddleboats? Well, we have all the answers for you. For all your DUI questions, answered, stay tuned.
A lot of times questions like this have some pretty complex answers, but today we’re in luck. The easy answer to this question is yes! If you are caught above the legal limit, operating a kayak, canoe, or even paddleboat, you can be charged with a DUI. The same laws apply to that of a motorized vehicle. If your BAC is above 80 mg per 100 mL of blood, you are technically drunk driving. Being caught subjects you to fines, penalties, license suspensions, and so much more. These fines are often just as severe as the ones applicable to drivers who drink and drive.
This rule is quite a controversial one. Many argue that since kayaks have no motors, and really aren’t capable of causing harm like a real motorized vehicle, it should be legal to drink in them. After all, what’s better than paddling around the lake at your cottage with beer and a few fishing rods? Well, the Canadian government disagrees. It’s very illegal and can land you in some deep trouble. Regardless of the opinions shared within this article, drinking and driving while operating a canoe is very illegal. Any laws you break is your own fault, and we do not take responsibility. Regardless of what we believe, the law is the law.
A lot of people think that if a boat has stopped moving, they’re legally allowed to drink. But unfortunately for them, that’s not the case. You can’t even have open alcohol on a boat. You need to keep it sealed, secured, and stashed away at all times. It doesn’t even matter if you’re tied off to a dock or even beached alongshore. You cannot drink, regardless of the situation. As long as the boat is involved it’s illegal.
One super important thing to keep in mind is that all parties involved need to be sober. If there are three people in a canoe, all three of them need to be sober. Under Canadian law, every person who helps is technically operating the boat. This means if you have someone in the middle of the boat who’s drunk, and is even just paddling with their hands, they can be charged with a DUI. It sounds ridiculous, but it’s true. Even if someone is not helping in any way whatsoever, they cannot be drinking while aboard the vessel. Sure, you can transport the booze all you want, but it needs to be sealed at all times.
If you’ve been charged with something as ridiculous as a DUI for operating a boat that has no engine, like a kayak or a canoe, you should definitely call an experienced DUI lawyer immediately. Jonathan Lapid is a fantastic lawyer, who’s been fighting DUI charges for over a decade. If you have any trouble regarding DUIs, he’s your best bet. He’s experienced, intelligent, tremendously professional, and really knows what he’s doing. If you have any more questions or concerns, feel free to contact Jonathan today. He’ll answer all of your questions and provide you with affordable rates and brilliant work. Good luck to you all and stay safe out there.