Drinking and boating accounts for approximately 40 per cent of boating-related fatalities on Canadian waterways, according to the Canadian Safe Boating Council.
To raise awareness and reduce alcohol related deaths, the CSBC is launching an initiative called Operation Dry Water.
With the summer boating season in high gear, the long weekend is the perfect time to remind Canadian boaters about the risks of drinking and boating, said a CSBC release. Combined with sun, wind, waves and the rocking motion of the boat, the effects of alcohol on the water can be greatly increased.
“The CSBC, its partners and sponsors would like, through this and our other initiatives, to raise attention to the problem of boating under the influence and to remind boaters not to drink and drive their boat,” said chair of CSBC John Gullick. “Operation Dry Water will focus on the potential risks of drinking and boating, and remedies that are currently in place to discourage it.”
Federal statutes dictate that, whether or not your craft is motorized, you can be charged with Impaired Operation of a vessel under the Criminal Code of Canada if your blood alcohol level exceeds the .08 threshold.
This means you can be charged even if you are impaired while operating a canoe and a judge is able to, upon conviction, suspend your boating privileges, said the CSBC release.
Operation Dry Water is aimed at reducing the number of alcohol-related accidents and fatalities on the water while fostering a stronger and more visible deterrent to alcohol use while boating. The end goal is to achieve safer and more enjoyable recreational boating.