Ask a Lawyer: Can I drink while boating in Alberta?

It’s summer and nothing beats boating with friends or family on a hot summer day. While you may think it’s harmless to crack a cold one while you’re boating on the water, a lot of people don’t know that passengers can only drink on a boat legally if the boat is equipped with a permanent toilet, cooking and sleeping facilities, and the boat is anchored or secured alongside a dock.   

The laws around drinking and boating may seem a bit murky for a lot of Albertans but, put simply, the penalties for drinking and driving a boat are exactly the same as for drinking and driving a car. That means that it’s a Criminal offence to operate a boat if you’re impaired by alcohol. In other words, if you have a Blood Alcohol Concentration over  0.08%, you are drunk boating. And for good reason. Approximately 40% of boating-related accidents in Canada involve alcohol consumption.  

In Canada, if you’re convicted of boating under the influence of alcohol or drugs, the penalties are:  

  • The minimum fine for a first offence is $1,000;
  • Second offence is imprisonment for 30 days; and
  • Third offence is imprisonment for 120 days.

If you want to enjoy a drink on a boat in Alberta, make sure you follow the rules and stay safe. And always remember to wear a lifejacket when you’re on the water.

If you’ve been injured on a boat because of someone else’s negligence, we want to help you. In Alberta, you generally have up to two years from the date of a boating accident to make a claim in court, or your right to do so is lost forever. But it’s important not to wait as there may be other important deadlines or circumstances, that may affect the deadline or your claim. 

Have questions about a boating accident that impacted you or someone you love? Here at Litco Law, it won’t cost you anything to speak to a Boating Accident Lawyer… so give us a call, send us a message in the chat, or fill out our contact form online and we’ll reach out to you. Consults are always free and, if you do choose us, we don’t get paid until your claim is resolved.

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