It is well known that all 50 states have laws against operating motor vehicles while under the influence of alcohol. People have even been pulled over for riding bicycles while intoxicated before. However, many do not think about the other varieties of motor vehicles there are, like boats. If you are planning to enjoy yourself out on Louisiana waters, be aware that drinking and operating a boat is a crime. In fact, according to Findlaw, alcohol may be more dangerous on water than it is on land.
In fact, boating under the influence can increase fatality by 34%. Due to this level of danger, you will often find law enforcement officials setting up checkpoints on the water just like they might set up checkpoints on the roads. it is entirely legal for either federal or state officials to pull over the operator of a boat if they suspect that the operator may be intoxicated.
Consequences of boating under the influence are just as severe as consequences for driving under the influence. It is possible that you will end up with a criminal record, just like a DUI will give you one. It is also possible that you may lose your recreational boating license. If you happen to be pulled over for boating under the Influence and are a commercial fisherman or commercial boat operator, the consequences can be more severe.
In addition to staying sober, it is important to be aware of other potential drunk boaters in your vicinity if you are out on the water. Particularly on major holiday weekends like Memorial Day and Labor Day, you are more likely to come across drunk boat operators. It is vital that everybody in the boat wear life vests, particularly children.