Don’t Drink And Boat

You know well enough not to drink and drive. When you’re heading to your favorite bar on Friday evening, you always make sure you have a designated driver or else a taxi service lined up to get you safely home. You know you can’t trust your judgement or your eyesight when you’re properly drunk, so you never put yourself in a position where you have to. But if that’s the case, then are you equally careful when you use a boat?

Different Standards, Same Situation

In the state of Florida, there’s a distinct difference in the open container law regarding automobiles and boats. For cars, there’s absolutely zero tolerance for open alcohol containers. You absolutely cannot have so much as an open beer can in your car, even if the driver hasn’t had a sip, and even if it’s a passenger drinking an officer may issue a ticket anyway.

When it comes to boats, however, open containers are entirely permissible, at least so long as the pilot and any navigators are under the legal limit of .08 blood alcohol content. While it’s not as easy to run into a solid object or another vehicle in a boat as it is in a car, you’re still in control of a large, heavy, dangerous vehicle that can cause serious damage to someone else’s property or person. Even a simple motorboat is made of metal that’s harder than your calcium-based skull.

Oceans Of Alcohol

Drinking while fishing is something of an American tradition. Fishing is generally a laid-back sport that involves a lot of waiting and line-casting, so having a few beers to pass the time only makes sense. Even if you’re on a larger boat and you’re out for a cruise with a bunch of your friends, you may be tempted to crack open a couple cold ones along with your friends.

However it happens, though, you have to remember that you aren’t necessarily safe even if you’re out on open waters. The surface of the water can hide many dangers, like shallow sand bars and rocks which your boat may scrape against. There’s also the fact that when you’re on the water, there isn’t a system of painted lines to separate traffic going in one direction or another. That means that collisions can be more likely if you aren’t paying attention to your surroundings.

Speaking in general, you should never take anything that impairs your reflexes and judgement before operating heavy machinery of any kind, and vehicles are really the worst kind of heavy machine: the kind that can move at high speeds and run people over. If you really want to drink and fish, your best bet is to do so from the shore or from a dock. Otherwise, you should really stick to boating first and then drinking. While the laws of Florida may be more lenient with boats than with cars, the laws of physics are the same no matter what sort of vehicle you’re driving.