Operation Dry Water is a National Boating Awareness and Enforcement campaign focusing on saving lives. This campaign is focused on reducing the 16 percent of boating fatalities related to drinking alcohol while boating. Studies have shown us that boating significantly increases the effects of alcohol due to the motion on the water, the engine’s vibrations and the heat of the sun. So, some states, such as Kentucky, have written laws making it illegal to consume alcohol while boating. Other states have laws that state a boater is under the influence if a boater’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is 0.08 percent or higher, just as with driving a car.
If you are drinking and boating, you can be arrested if:
- Your BAC is 0.08 percent or higher (except in states where it is illegal to drink and boat).
- Your BAC is lower than 0.08 percent, but law enforcement deems you to be a dangerous boater.
What does Operation Dry Water have to do with boater’s insurance? A lot! Just as in a car if you have DUIs, BUIs (boating under the influence) will raise your boat insurance premiums. Insurance providers consider you a greater risk if you have been arrested for drinking while boating. Insurance providers know that if you are arrested once for a BUI, you are likely to have a second incident.
At the same time, if you are drinking and boating, you are 10 times more likely to be in an accident than if you were boating sober. Accidents while drinking and boating are also going to raise your insurance premiums since you are now a greater risk of having more claims. Insurance providers penalize more claims while drinking since they were likely preventable.
There is good news! You can avoid raising those insurance premiums, and you don’t have to avoid drinking altogether. The key is to not drink while boating and to not drink right before boating. If you are going to drink, wait on shore until you are sober. Be a responsible boater and don’t participate in dangerous behaviors that also raise your boat insurance premiums.
Stay safe on the water.