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Alcohol and Boating Rules You Must Know in Canada

Alcohol can be dangerous for drivers – not only the ones on the road but those on a boat too! The Collision Regulations and Criminal Code of Canada have laid down several rules on alcohol use while boating to prevent fatal boat accidents. So if you have a boat license or love operating a boat yourself, here’s everything you need to know about alcohol and boating rules in Canada.

Common Myths about Boating and Alcohol

Even as authorities have instituted regulations to prevent drinking and boating, several myths encourage people with boating licenses to ignore the warnings and showcase irresponsible and risky boating practices. Here are a few myths debunked to help you understand how important responsible drinking is even when you are on a boat.

A Few Beers Can’t Hurt

Alcohol distorts judgement and coordination even when taken in small amounts. This can be extremely dangerous as you run the risk of misjudging distance and can collide into another vessel.

Most Drownings are Because of Swimming

Studies have shown that as much as 60 percent of drownings occur because of the victim falling off a vessel. Detailed investigations into these deaths have revealed that most victims were intoxicated at the time of the fall. So if you want a boating license in Ontario, you must understand and be aware of all the regulations laid down by the authorities.

Drinking While Operating a Boat is Not a Serious Offence

If you are aware of the perils of drinking and driving on the road, you would avoid drinking while operating a boat too. Alcohol can distort your senses and your judgement leading to severe accidents. Just as the police on land, the maritime police are equipped with breathalyzers too. High levels of alcohol in a person operating a boat could lead to serious punishments. So if you already have or are trying to get a boat license in Canada, understand all the regulations thoroughly and practice them while you on the waters.

You Can Drink on the Beach Before Swimming

You may find it enjoyable to sit down on the beach and sip your favorite drink and gaze into the horizon. However, if you are planning to go in for a swim, hold that drink! Drinking in public places is an offence. Alcohol can cause misjudgment and if you are planning to swim, it could be dangerous.

Permitted Blood Alcohol Levels

So how much is the permitted blood alcohol level while operating a boat in Canada? The Toronto police department had put together a chart that indicates the legal blood alcohol level in a person who is operating a car. The same chart applies to persons operating boats.

According to the Criminal Code of Canada, the legal level for alcohol in a person should not exceed 80 milligrams of ethyl alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood.

You can find this chart online. Do note that in women, the blood/alcohol concentrations are higher. You can refer to this chart too online.

If you need more information on boat driving licenses in Canada, you can reach out to experts at Sprint Driving who can not only provide assistance for licenses but also help you with necessary knowledge on boating and regulations.

Connect with Us for Truck Driving Lessons

Sprint Driving School is the leading driving school in Toronto. Our team of experts can help you with driving lessons for trucks, boats and even forklifts. To know more about boating licenses in Ontario, you can call us at 406.222.4190 to set up an appointment or mail us your queries at We would be happy to help!

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