Stay Sober. Stay Safe.


You might think a BUI or alcohol-related boating accident will never happen to you, until it does. The knowledgeable staff at The Olive Law Firm has some guidance on avoiding the legal peril and larger dangers of drinking and boating!

At Boater Rewards, we take our commitment to safe, fun boating very seriously. That’s why we provide our members with educational opportunities, product discounts, dispatch from Sea Tow and much more. Our dedication to boaters also includes supporting initiatives that make for a better time on the water, namely preventing boating under the influence.

The Olive Law Firm of Charlotte, NC recently provided us with a very handy guide for why staying sober is staying safe. The firm specializes in personal injury, and following their tips can prevent you from hurting others and yourself, or getting involved in costly legal cases.

Effects of Alcohol While Boating

Many boaters enjoy a cocktail or a beer while out enjoying a cruise around their favorite spots on oceans, lakes and rivers. We can’t blame anyone for wanting to relax a bit and really get the most out of a fun day on the water, but you should know that having one or a few too many can make for a dangerous ride due to:

  • Impaired judgment
  • Reduced reaction time
  • Increased self-confidence
  • Shortened attention span
  • Loss of balance and dizziness
  • Blurred vision
  • Short-term memory loss
  • Impaired comprehension
  • Loss of consciousness

None of these effects are ideal to have when operating any kind of vehicle, let alone one that might be carrying many passengers or traversing deep waters.

Dangers and Penalties

When you’ve crossed a line in terms of intoxications, there are two types of consequences you could face, physical danger and legal liability. Neither is fun, and you should be extra responsible to avoid both.

Dangers include:

  • Reduced likelihood of following safety precautions
  • Taking unsafe risks
  • Decreased ability to spot other boaters or dangerous conditions
  • Impaired ability to pilot the watercraft

Penalties include:

  • Potential to lose both driver’s and boating license due to a BUI
  • Heavy fines
  • A mandate to complete a boating safety course
  • Jail time, a penalty in many states for a BUI

Next time you want to crack open another cold one, this list might tell you it’s a better idea to leave it in your cooler or whichever storage compartment you use on your boat.

Tips for Avoiding BUI

So, how do you stay in the clear? Follow these simple suggestions from The Olive Law Firm:

  • Avoid alcohol consumption entirely while operating a boat or personal watercraft.
  • Bring nonalcoholic beverages along.
  • If you drink before boating, allow at least one hour per drink before operating a boat.
  • Know your state’s legal limit for blood-alcohol content. (0.08 percent in most states, the same limit for driving)
  • Determine if your state prohibits BUI even in watercraft with no motors, such as kayaks and canoes.
  • Check your state’s BUI laws to avoid misunderstandings.
  • Remain calm if you are pulled over by police, and comply with police requests.
  • Take extra care during holiday weekends, as accident and BUI arrest numbers increase.
  • If you are arrested for BUI, contact a qualified DUI attorney to ensure your rights are protected.

Hopefully, these insights keep you safe, and you never have to deal with an alcohol-related accident or arrest. If you would like to learn more about boating laws, BUIs or personal injury litigation, reach out to The Olive Law Firm at For any general boating needs, we are always available at

Stay safe out there folks, and happy boating!

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