Coast Guard reminds PNW mariners to boat sober on 6th day of NSBW

Petty Officer 2nd Drew Allen and Petty Officer 2nd Class Jordan Kuehl perform field sobriety tests on a boater during Seattleā€™s Seafair, Aug. 5, 2017. The Coast Guard, along with local law enforcement agencies, engaged the public to help ensure a safe boating experience and to minimize potential dangers associated with driving a boat under the influence. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Lara Davis)

Petty Officer 2nd Drew Allen and Petty Officer 2nd Class Jordan Kuehl perform field sobriety tests on a boater. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Lara Davis)

SEATTLE –The Coast Guard reminds mariners during the sixth day of National Safe Boating Week that boating under the influence can have serious consequences for vessel operators and passengers.

As with operating a motor vehicle, operating a boat under the influence of drugs or alcohol can have serious consequences and increases the likelihood of accidents afloat. Alcohol not only affects judgment but also vision, balance and coordination.

The legal limit for operating under the influence of alcohol on Washington and Oregon waterways is a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08. The legal limit for boating under the influence of marijuana is 5.0 nanograms. The law applies to all boats, motorized and non-motorized, which includes, kayaks, canoes, rafts and paddle boards. The penalty if found to be in violation of this law can result in a gross misdemeanor charge and is punishable by up to a $5,000 fine and up to a year in jail.

Enjoying summer days on the water can be safe for everyone with responsible drinking and safety measures. Taking precautions such as designating a boat operator who remains sober, similar to a designated driver, hiring a licensed captain to operate the vessel or booking a professional charter, can help prevent BUI incidents from occurring.

The Coast Guard always encourages mariners to follow safe boating practices and remain alert while operating vessels and pleasure craft. Additional information on Coast Guard boating safety can be found at https://www.uscgboating.org/.

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