Can I get breathalyzed on my boat?

People often hear of instances where people get stopped when they are driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while impaired (DWI), but they may be unfamiliar about how this is translated when they are on a boat.

There are state and federal laws that are in place about boating and alcohol use. Although every state has laws against mixing the two, the consequences and the laws vary from state to state. States that are popular for boating are the states that have the stiffest penalties. However, in general, it is illegal to drive a boat under the influence of alcohol and doing so can result in an arrest.

But in the case of boating, you may not lose your license if you are boating under the influence. Boating is regulated differently and often does not require a license. Making it difficult to share information history about a driver between states.

Authorities can arrest a boater refusing a breathalyzer if they suspect that the boater is intoxicated. Although a boater can refuse to blow, this will result in the case being handed to the U.S. Coast Guard for review. Federal laws will impose a substantial fine for refusing to comply with the request of a breathalyzer. Refusing a breathalyzer can result in fines between $1,000 and $5,000. Not paying the fine on time can result in the Coast Guard may seizing the vessel.