Can You Drink On A Houseboat?

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A common question I hear asked all the time is about drinking while on board a boat. Many people think that just like no one in a car can drink the same applies to a boat.

Not only can people on board the boat drink alcohol while it is moving but the person driving the boat can legally drink as well in most places in the USA! Of course the driver will have to make sure to stay below the legal limit for blood alcohol levels, which is the same as driving a car, but they can drink moderately even while driving the boat.

Of course anytime that alcohol is being consumed you have to be careful but that is especially true while on board a boat. Staying upright on a boat can be difficult if you haven’t been on board a moving vessel very often but adding alcohol to the equation makes it even more difficult. 

While drinking on board a boat or houseboat is legal getting drunk is not a good idea at all. In 2017 there were 658 boating deaths with 102 of those deaths being contributed to alcohol!

That is almost 16% of the boating deaths directly linked to the usage of alcohol. Drinking in moderation can make your time on board more enjoyable but that last thing you need to do is have a lifetime of regret because of drinking excessively. 

Even though drinking on board is legal if you are traveling with younger children on board it might be a good idea to abstain so that way everyone is alert and keeping an eye on the children to make sure nothing happens. 

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Any lack of attention to younger children even for a few minutes at a time can wind up with a disaster happening so make sure to keep safety a priority while on board. 

Even if there are no children on board, many states have laws about not being completely drunk while water skiing, being towed by a boat, etc. so if you are planning on doing those types of activities be sure and know the laws in your area. 

Whatever you are doing or not doing, always make sure and stay safe while on board. 

As Always, 

Happy Boating

Matthew Robbs

I love the outdoors and especially spending time with my family. Whether on a boat or at the beach, my happy place is near the water.

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