Alcohol-impaired driving…  If your activities involve drinking, plan ahead for a safe ride home

Driver or passenger, RCMP can fine you for drinking on your boat

Impaired driving on the water

stern view of small police boat with two officers at the helm

Boating under the influence of alcohol, or drugs is illegal. It is also a danger to yourself and others.

Staying sober is your responsibility

Boating while drinking or taking drugs can lead to dangerous situations.

When boating impaired, you are not just a danger to yourself but to others too. Each time you operate a boat, you are responsible for the safety of your guests and other people using the waterway. You must always be prepared and alert.

Mixing alcohol and drugs with boating is far more dangerous than you may realize. Fatigue, sun, wind and the motion of the boat may dull your senses. Alcohol and drugs intensify these effects, leaving you with reduced fine motor skills (for example, hand-eye coordination) and impaired judgement.


Impaired driving, whether on land or water, is punishable under the Criminal Code of Canada.

Convictions for a first offence can result in:

  • fines
  • prohibition from operating a boat or motor vehicle
  • seizure of the boat for a period of time
  • possible prison terms

The laws and penalties for when a boater is considered impaired follow provincial and territorial driving laws.

Remember, provinces and territories also have their own rules on:

  • impairment limits
  • when you can drink alcohol on a boat
  • how alcohol can be carried on board from one location to another

Contact your local, provincial or territorial law enforcement authorities for more information.

Boatig and Drinking
Safe Ride Home
boating and drinking