Michigan Boating and Drinking – Highest Number of Tickets in 3 Years

How often do you designate someone to driving while drinking on a boat?

Are you aware of the boating and drinking laws in Michigan?

If you have grown up in Michigan, most likely you have spent time on a lake. Our great state is filled with them. While we have all grown-up around boats, we may not be aware of the different laws concerning them.

In July 2013, the Detroit Free Press published an article highlighting the increase in the number of tickets given out for boating and drinking.

The U.S. Coast Guard says it has written more than 50 tickets this year to Great Lakes boat operators who have had too much to drink. The government says the number of violations is higher than the number posted through July 4 in each of the last three years. Cmdr. David Beck of the Coast Guard’s 9th District says sun, waves and dehydration can contribute to significant problems when someone’s been drinking alcohol in a boat.”

What Do You Risk By Drinking and Boating?

  • If you are caught with drinking and boating you are guilty of a misdemeanor.
  • On your 3rd violation within 10 years you risk being guilty of a felony.
  • If you cause bodily injury, you risk a felony.

What is the current Blood Alcohol Level Legal Limit for Boating in Michigan

Editor’s note: For changes in Michigan’s boating laws for 2015, please see: Michigan Boating Laws and Alcohol Limits 2015.
  • As reported by the Online Michigan Boating Safety Course, the legal limit for 2013 is .10%. That is determined by a blood, urine or breath test.
  • If you are tested and are between .07% and .09%, then the officer administering the test can then along with other factors decide whether or not someone is under the influence or not.

There is current legalization that would make drink and boating the same as drinking and driving. You can read more about that in an article we published in April called Michigan Boaters 2013 – Boating and Alcohol Law Limits.

If you have any additional questions please do not hesitate to call me.