Michigan Boaters 2013 – Boating and Alcohol Law Limits

Michigan Boating and Alcohol Laws

Did you know that the blood alcohol content level that is permitted when driving a boat may be changing?

Happy Friday! What a beautiful Friday it is! The weather is getting warmer and if you own a boat, you may be thinking of going out on the lake. If you plan to drive that boat, this article is for you. Michigan lawmakers have introduced Legislation that would change the amount of alcohol you can drink while you’re driving your boat.

It was 2005 when Ryan Zielinski, a 7-year-old was being towed in a tube when he was ran over by a watercraft and killed in Cass County. The person driving the watercraft had a BAC that would have gotten him arrested for drunk driving. However, because the driver was in a boat, the county officials were not able to prosecute as severely as if the accident had occurred on the road.

Last year, I published an article explaining the blood alcohol level was .10 percent. The article, Michigan Boating and Alcohol Laws, detailed what it means to be “boating under the influence”.

Editor’s note: For changes in Michigan’s law for 2015, please see: Michigan Boating Laws and Alcohol Limits 2015.

According to CBS Detroit, this year the legislation is being introduced due to what had happened to Ryan Zielinski.

Michigan boaters and snowmobilers would be held to the same drunken driving standards as drivers under legislation introduced in the state House. The bipartisan package of bills would set the legal blood-alcohol limit for boat, snowmobile and off-road vehicle operators at 0.08 percent. Under the state’s current law, people can legally operate snowmobiles and boats with a 0.10 blood-alcohol content.”

So, before you head out on the boat, make sure you have a designated driver if you plan to consume alcohol.

Whenever a change in law happens and someone you know or love is facing a charge related to that change, the best thing you can do for that person is to arm them with an experienced defense attorney.

Do you think drivers of boats and snowmobiles should be held to the same standard as drivers on the road? Do you support the new bill?