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Intoxication and Motorized Recreational Vehicle and Watercraft Operation

 Revised February 2013 with current title

Reaffirmed October 2006

Approved as policy statement September 2000 titled "Watercraft Safety and Intoxication"

Originally approved September 1989 titled "Drunk Boating" (CR037), rescinded September 2000


The American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) supports efforts involving public education and legislation to ensure safe and responsible operation of motorized recreational vehicles* and watercraft. Operators and passengers should be educated about the dangers of intoxication with drugs or alcohol while engaged in motor vehicle or watercraft operation. Legislation should be enacted enabling the use of reasonable actions, including impoundment of property to assure safe operation of motorized vehicles and watercraft.

ACEP supports the adoption and enforcement of legislation prohibiting drug- or alcohol-impaired operation of motorized vehicles and watercraft. Such legislation should mandate that a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 g/dl or greater is per se evidence of operating a motorized vehicle or watercraft while impaired and that any measurable level of BAC while operating a motorized vehicle or watercraft shall be illegal in persons younger than the legal drinking age in each state.

*Motorized recreational vehicles and watercraft can include mopeds, mini-bikes, all-terrain vehicles (ATV), go-karts, snowmobiles, ultra-light aircraft, boats, jet skis, and other such vehicles.

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