Watercraft Safety and Intoxication
Reaffirmed by the ACEP Board of Directors October 2006
Approved by the ACEP Board of Directors September 2000 and replaced "Drunk Boating" that was originally approved by the ACEP Board of Directors September 1989 and rescinded September 2000.
The American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) supports efforts involving public education and legislation to ensure safe boating and operation of personal watercraft. Operators and passengers should be educated about water safety measures, especially the dangers of intoxication with drugs or alcohol while engaged in water sports. Legislation should be enacted enabling the use of reasonable actions, including impoundment of the watercraft to assure safe operation of boats and other watercraft.
ACEP supports the adoption and enforcement of legislation prohibiting drug- or alcohol-impaired operation of boats and other watercraft. Such legislation should mandate that a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 mg/dl is per se evidence of operating a boat or other watercraft while impaired and that any measurable level of BAC while operating a boat or other watercraft shall be illegal in persons younger than the legal drinking age in each state.