Alcohol while canoeing? - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 35 (permalink) Old 07-06-2014, 03:54 AM Thread Starter
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Alcohol while canoeing?

For the past several years since turning 21, I have always taken along a cooler with a couple beers (less than a 6 pack) in it when I'm floating down a creek or river. No intents on getting hammered or anything close. I just enjoy some good brews while floating. Up until recently, it never occurred to me that there were laws regarding things like this (duh!). A quick search revealed that laws are similar to DUI.... 0.08 or over, and you are done for. That is simple enough. But it as cut and dry as that? Is having an open container on a boat...specifically a canoe...legal? Does one have the right to refuse breath test or blood test if accused? Any other technicalities to this?

I'm not asking bc I'm some sort of party hearty sort of guy, or bc I want to walk the line. I'm looking to legally and responsibly combine some things that I enjoy.

Thanks,

Micah
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post #2 of 35 (permalink) Old 07-06-2014, 06:26 AM
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Re: Alcohol while canoeing?

PA has no open container law for any boat or watercraft.

I am just going on assumption that refusal of a field sobriety test on the water will net you the same results as on the road.

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post #3 of 35 (permalink) Old 07-06-2014, 06:54 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Alcohol while canoeing?

But what exactly do they hold over you? On the road it's an automatic suspension of your DL. I don't have a boating license. Maybe a fishing license...idk.

I can't say as I imagine I'd ever refuse. More just a conversation piece.
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post #4 of 35 (permalink) Old 07-06-2014, 08:51 AM
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Re: Alcohol while canoeing?

just be careful....don't want a CUI on your permanent record.....

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post #5 of 35 (permalink) Old 07-06-2014, 08:52 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Alcohol while canoeing?

CUI...canoeing under the influence??
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post #6 of 35 (permalink) Old 07-06-2014, 10:53 AM
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Re: Alcohol while canoeing?

Alcohol & Boating

When on a boat, the effects of alcohol are magnified. Combined with stresses from wind, motion and heat, your ability to think and perform basic tasks needed to safely operate your boat may become impaired. It is illegal to operate a boat while under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance.<span style="font-weight: bold"> Alcohol is prohibited on land and water at all state parks and at most U.S. Army Corps of Engineer projects. </span>Pre-arrest breath tests can be used by officers to determine the probability that a boat operator is under the influence. A blood alcohol content of 0.08% or more is considered to be over the legal limit (0.02% blood alcohol content for minors). Penalties include loss of boating privileges, significant fines and imprisonment.

wmu 3A
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post #7 of 35 (permalink) Old 07-06-2014, 10:59 AM
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Re: Alcohol while canoeing?

Here's a link to check. drinking on the canoe would be considered "operating" the canoe. however, if you don't slam them like a college student and just drink a couple through the course of the day you should be fine. We go to Raystown quite a bit and have a cooler on the boat for guys fishing. I'm driving the boat, so I may have one while we are fishing every so often. All in moderation.

http://www.fishandboat.com/drinking.html
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post #8 of 35 (permalink) Old 07-06-2014, 02:20 PM
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Re: Alcohol while canoeing?

Speaking from a technical point of view, I'm guessing that having the open container while on the water would be illegal. Shouldn't be anything wrong with pulling up on the bank to have lunch or wade and having a cold one as long as you take your empties with you.

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post #9 of 35 (permalink) Old 07-06-2014, 02:45 PM
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Re: Alcohol while canoeing?

While running the boat I only drink water but those with me can drink all they want. Open bottle rule dosent seem to apply as long as you pass breathalyzer test.
I am not 100% sure but in Jersey I think the DUI would go against my driving license. To avoid any issues I wont drink on the water. We go out to dinner or drinks by boat and I have never been stopped. Marine police would most likely have stopped you for some other violation to get to a BUI charge like speed, wake or unsafe operation.
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post #10 of 35 (permalink) Old 07-06-2014, 03:01 PM
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Re: Alcohol while canoeing?

Quote:
Originally Posted by quackmaster4
Speaking from a technical point of view, I'm guessing that having the open container while on the water would be illegal.
Oddly enough....... no.

There is no open container law for boating in PA.

I DO NOT drink alcohol AT ALL when operating my boat. NO FRIGGIN" WAY !!!! But....... my passengers are more than welcome to enjoy in good moderation.

I specifically asked a waterways patrolman about the law. He said "you can drive by me and toast me with a bottle of Bud and I can't pull you over". What he DID say was that he CAN pull me over for any number of smaller probable causes, THEN possibly do a field sobriety test if he feels it's needed. But the operator with an open container is NOT probable cause.

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