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  1. #1
    My Boats:
    PQ 380 **SOLD**
    Join Date
    Nov 2006

    Question for Michigan Boaters?

    I don't want this to sound like I can't have fun without drinking, but how many of you drink or allow passengers to drink while boating? In Michigan our DNR law says .10 is legally drunk while boating. However, it seems like I'm always hearing stories about people getting busted for drinking on there boats. Some sheriffs tell me that you can't drink unless you have a full head on board, others tell me you can drink but not while you're actually moving. I spend a lot of time out on the islands around the St. Clair river and everyone drinks, but the coast guard just hovers around waiting for people to leave, then they chase them down and check their whole boat out. I do allow passengers to drink and I too will have a couple throughout the day, but by no means do I get drunk. What has been your guys' experience with this? If your passengers are legally drunk can they get busted? I know I'm just paranoid, but the law reads so open ended that it kind of leaves it up to each officers own discretion how they choose to handle the situation. I just don't want a whole lot of unnecessary trouble over a few drinks.

  2. #2
    Registered User
    My Boats:
    1990 28 Apache SOLD!, 1990 16 Wahoo DC, 1973 40 Kingscraft
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Mansfield, TX
    I have gotten a BWI before - not fun. I believe it is legal to drink and drive as long as you are under the limit. I usually drink once we have stopped and then have one of my friends or fiancee drive me home. I enjoy driving, but sometimes I really just like to get drunk and go for a ride. My passengers always drink.

    In TX the implied consent law (don't blow and you go to jail) does not apply if your boat is under 50hp.
    Last edited by TexomaPowerboater; 05-09-2007 at 06:35 PM.

  3. #3
    never trade luck for skil Gold Member cfischer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    San Diego, CA
    It's actually .08 is legally drunk in Grand Haven, MI. They try to pull the no tolerence but I believe your allowed to have a beer if you want. I might be wrong and yes your passengers can drink.

  4. #4
    My Boats:
    PQ 380 **SOLD**
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Offshore Whore are you talking about in a car or boat?

    Check out this link

    Hey Texoma, I wish I could outrun the coast guard. They've got boats that will hit 90 easy, mine won't!

  5. #5
    My Boats:
    28 Active Thunder
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Rockford Mich
    The laws vary greatly from autos and boats in Mich. You can have open containers in boats, not in auto.
    Levels of influence are different. Boats 1.0 and autos 0.8
    For the most part they will not bother you if you do not promote any issues. You will always have a few officers that will look for issues.

  6. #6
    My Boats:
    one slow Fountain, one fast ice boat.
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Traverse City, Michigan
    Never ever have a open beer in view of the police or USCG. Since they can do a safety inspection any time and once they board they may decide you need a breathalizer test.

    Also don't try to outrun a police or USCG boat. I tried once and soon realized they have more then one and know how to plot a intercepting course.
    Fortunatly I was not drinking and only got a expensive wake violation out of the chase.


  7. #7
    Gold Member Gold Member nocigarette's Avatar
    My Boats:
    1974 magnum sport 540 with a wicked scorpion racing engines tune up job...
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Grosse ile michigan
    Just dont be a ****, boat and have a good time.........

    When ya start acting like a ass you deserve to be pulled over and inspected...

    There's nothing harmonious or Zen-like about a Cigarette ride. It's an anarchic kind of rush—the nautical equivalent of Viagra.

    still pouring hundies into this resin bucket................

  8. #8
    Gold Member Gold Member phragle's Avatar
    My Boats:
    22 Avanti, 25 Nova, 2 turtle doves and a partridge in a pear tree,SBYC
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Toledo Oh
    here in Toledo (almost michigan) enforcement varies tremndously, usually they leave you alone. but on occasion like when they have big things going on downtown like fireworks and theres a lot of boats with nowhere to go, they will go nuts checking as many boats as possible. got my friend for a BWI in his 26 crownline ltd, then made my other friend drive (who was more f'd up than the first friend). the really stupid part is that we all KNEW they were going to be doing it days ahead of time.
    please read the fine print

  9. #9
    Gold Member Gold Member AppSysCons's Avatar
    My Boats:
    CURR: 230LX, PREV:2007 30 Skater, 2003 36 Skater,1998 37 OuterLimits, B-Class race 28 Magnum
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Port Charlotte, FL
    I do not care what the state says MI, NJ, FL or wherever, I have a zero tolerance policy on my boat. I do not drink on or before using my boat, my passengers do not drink on my boat, in fact, I do not allow any alcohol on my boat, even closed containers in a cooler.

    Ultimately I am responsible for the safety of those on or around my boat, so I set the rules.
    Frank Fasulo
    2004 Stingray 230LX
    Canon 7D | EF-S 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 IS
    Thousands of pictures at

  10. #10
    Registered sleeper_dave's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    In Michigan:

    The legal limit on the water is .10, on land it is .08

    A drunk boating charge does not transfer to your drivers license, it is a seperate offense

    You are perfectly legal to drink while driving so long as you are not drunk. Keep in mind that if they see you drinking a beer you're that much more likely to be stopped (happened to someone I know).

    Not sure if implied consent is applicable on the water

    In my experience, they won't give you trouble as long as you're not an asshat. At some big parties they try to stop everyone, most weekends they keep an eye on the party spots and stop the stupid people. There are usually enough stupid people to keep people that know what they're doing out of trouble.

    If you are in Canadian waters in Ontario, you cannot drink (maybe even no alcohol allowed on board) unless you are stopped for the night, and have a head and sleeping quarters.

    If i'm going to go out and party, I just stay the night. A drinking ticket is about the last thing I need.
    Last edited by sleeper_dave; 05-09-2007 at 03:05 PM.

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