Did you know that long term studies by the Lifesaving Society of Canada have shown that in approximately 40% of boating-related fatalities, operator impairment has been a contributing factor? And many people may not be aware that there are environmental stressors that can have an effect on them when they are on the water. These stressors include the rocking motion of the boat, waves, sun, wind, noise, and vibration. These stressors can intensify the effects of alcohol or drugs, making drinking or smoking while boating even more dangerous than drinking or smoking and driving. And while an adult may not be the operator of a boat, they still need to remember that “having a few drinks or taking drugs” while out on the water, by extension, may lead to being impaired while driving home.
Operating a boat while under the influence of alcohol or drugs is treated just the same as operating a vehicle while under the influence. This is a chargeable offence under the Criminal Code of Canada.