Boating Laws: What You Need to Know

Sweltering summer days are best spent on the boat. That’s where you’ll find many Berkeley County families this season, soaking up the sun and exploring the Lowcountry’s waterways.

Coolers filled with drinks and snacks are considered essential – with alcoholic beverages often stashed inside. This raises the question, “Is it illegal to drink while boating?”

Here at West Law Firm, our boating accident attorneys know the answer is not necessarily a simple one. But we are here to explain everything you need to know about booze and boating – and to help keep you safe on the water.

According to South Carolina law, it is illegal to operate a motorboat, sailboat or jet ski while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. But the tricky part comes in determining when a drink-sipping driver is “under the influence.”

The law defines “under the influence” as “impairment to the extent that the person’s faculties to operate are materially and appreciably impaired.” That said, enjoying a beer or two over the course of an afternoon will not send most boaters over the limit.

Here at West Law Firm, we do not recommend consuming any alcohol while at the helm. After all, it is better to be safe than sorry. Designate a driver who will stick to non-alcoholic beverages and ensure every boat passenger makes it safely back to shore.

To learn more about maritime law or Boating Under the Influence charges, contact West Law Firm today! Our boating accident attorneys, based here in Moncks Corner, SC, can provide helpful legal advice – starting with a free consultation. To schedule yours, give us a call at 843-761-5626 or click here!

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