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BobT

Brewskis

14 posts in this topic

I realize that it is unlawful to operate a boat while intoxicated and of course it’s probably discouraged but what about just enjoying a brewski or two while fishing? Is it still permitted to have open bottle in a boat while on the water?

Bob

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I got pulled over by the coast guard this spring on lake superior. we were all drinking and they told me that you can drink and drive in a boat as long as you aren't over the legal limit.

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I don't think the same laws apply while boating that do apply while driving a car. For example, you can have an open bottle in a boat, but not a car. You ABSOLUTELY DO still need to be under the blood-alcohol level of your state however if you are operating a motor vehicle on the water (ie boats, jet ski, etc).

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You can drink a couple of brewskis here in SD while in the boat, but I have heard that if you are over the legal limit for a motor vehicle it is a $1,000 fine and I don't know for sure what else goes with it. shocked.gif I think I'll stay with soda or water.

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I believe if you get caught over the limit while operating a boat, it has the same consequences as a DWI. It goes on your driving record and will effect your insurance.

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They may not get you on the water but I've seen a few guys get busted at the landing once they operate the vehicle.

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From the 2007 MN DNR Boating Guide:

The Alcohol Concentration for impaired operation is now .08.

Operating a motorboat while under the influence of alcohol, a controlled substance or other illegal chemical is unlawful. Operators who are impaired may be required to take tests by an enforcement officer. There is a penalty for refusal. BWI convictions and refusals are recorded on the violator's driver's license record.

The BWI law does not prohibit drinking alcoholic beverages aboard boats nor having an open bottle. The law applies to operators of motorboats that are not anchored, beached, moored, docked or being rowed or propelled by non-mechanical means at the time of offense.

http://files.dnr.state.mn.us/rlp/regulations/boatwater/boatingguide.pdf

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Yep...You can have an open alcohol container in a boat here is SD, and you and your passenger's may consume alcohol. However, if you are operating the boat, checked, and over the legal limit of .08% you will be arrested for DWI. It carries the exact same weight as if you were arrested in your car or pick-up.

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Along the same lines as fish in possession, what if I am over the alcohol limit. Can I use my trolling motor to get back to the dock, or do I have to drift or anchor and sober up. I know my limit and do not go over, but this is a what if. Is using a trolling motor considered driving a boat?

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Wonder what the field tests are like??? Swim a straight line!?! grin.gif

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Quote:

Along the same lines as fish in possession, what if I am over the alcohol limit. Can I use my trolling motor to get back to the dock, or do I have to drift or anchor and sober up. I know my limit and do not go over, but this is a what if. Is using a trolling motor considered driving a boat?


Usually whoever is up front will run the trolling motor when fishing. I never thought about if they were over the alcohol limit or not. I run the boat and they have a good time. BWI while trolling?!?!?

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I was in the belle plaine cat fishing contest on the mn river a few years ago and 130 am in the morning a boat starts coming down the river there lights were off, my nav. lights front and back were on! I was tied on to a big tree sticking out of the water. The boat pulls up to me, and rams my boat, pretty hard, it put a dent in my alumanum boat. I started to not be very happy, they introduced themselves as game wardens, and they wanted to see in my livewell, and check our licenses, we showed him, he jumped in to my boat to see in the livewell. As he did he stepped on a fishing pole and broke it, then shined on the floor of my boat and there was a good pile of empty beer cans sitting in the corner. He asked if I been drinking I told him yes! He said it looks like I have been drinking alot, I said I had a few. He told me that I looked intoxicated, I told him that I wasnt the one who hit his boat, that was parked along the side of the river. ( Thought that was a good idea at the time, today I dont think it was). I told him I had no intention on going anywhere untill later in the morning. He looked and seen my keys were in the ignition, and shined the flashlight around my boat, and said that he doesnt see that my boat is anchored anywhere. I explained I was tied on to the tree in 2 different places, and this is why we werent floating down the river. He had me standing up wanting me to do a sobriety test, stand on one leg and touch your nose with my head tipped back. Then the other game warden decided it wasnt a good idea for me to be doing that in the condition I was in, standing in a boat, in 30ft of water. And the older of the 2 wardens inwhich was the one that stayed in their own boat, and wasnt harrassing me, asked me if they left me alone if I would promise to not move from this spot untill morning. I told him thats what I told him 30 min ago. So the older warden convinced the young @$$%(& warden to get back into their boat and they would leave me alone. I then asked about the big dent they put in my boat when they hit me at 10mph and my broken pole, he said not to push my luck. The young warden told me that I need to throw out an anchor, and take my key out, I told him Im not going to throw out my anchor when sitting in a snag pile, he didnt understand , so I hung it off the side of the boat. I then asked him if I took the key out where am I suppose to keep it, so I dont have access to it, he said to put it in a storage compartment.

Sorry it was so long, but I guess the moral of the story, be anchored and take your key out, if you dont want a ticket. And dont question anything they wreck of yours while trying to find something to write you up about.

I was in my mid 20s at the time, the young warden maybe 22-25.

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You sure can get a BWI while trolling. In MN if you get a BWI you get about a $500 fine, get to take alcoholic class's and be on probation for a few years. If no one can drive your boat you get that impounded, you lose your boating priveliges for 3 months ( 3 boating months April-October) and it does go on your driving record but you can still drive your car. You can be on a boat but not operating it for 3 months. So if you get a DWI or have had one it will count as your 2nd. If you have someone under 16 on the boat its twice the trouble and could be considered child endangerment. If your anchored you can be over the limit as long as your not going anywhere. So if your planning on drinking and fishing bring an anchor and a sleeping bag.

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In WI it's not really called an OWI it is called OMVWI with the MV being motor vehicle so operating the trolling motor, a golf cart, or even a riding lawn mover can get you the big fines. A guy in the paper was drunk and driving a golf cart, he tipped it and his passenger got hurt so now he is looking at years in jail.

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