Canadian Safe Boating Council urges boaters to boat safely this summer
The Canadian Safe Boating Council (CSBC) is launching year three of an initiative called “Operation Dry Water” in an effort to curb drinking and boating on Canadian waterways — a practice that is being blamed for approximately 40 percent of boating-related fatalities.
With the summer boating season in high gear, the August BC Day holiday weekend on the horizon, CSBC wants to remind Canadian boaters about the risks of drinking and boating.
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 boat,” said John Gullick, Chair of the Canadian Safe Boating Council.
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. But that’s not all; it can get worse.
Some provinces have enacted legislation where drinking and boating can affect your automobile driving privileges.
In BC, like the rest of the country, boating while impaired is an offence under the Criminal Code of Canada.
Operators with more than 80 milligrams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood are liable to the following fines:
- 1st offence: at least $600 fine
- 2nd offence: at least 14 days of imprisonment
- 3rd offence: at least 90 days of imprisonment
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 Kootenay Boundary Regional RCMP detachment is out on our waterways this summer patrolling lakes during sporadic patrols throughout the summer season.