Practice sober and respectful operation of boats and watercraft

Sports And Rec

**** RCMP Media Release

Practice sober and respectful operation of boats and watercraft

In Nova Scotia, the RCMP treats all cases of operating a boat or personal watercraft while impaired the same that they would a case of impaired driving.

The fines and penalties are the same in order to reflect the severity of impaired operation of a vehicle – whether your vehicle is a car, boat or personal watercraft! Under no circumstances is the operator of a boat or personal watercraft to be under the influence of alcohol, or drugs, as it can impair your judgement and reactions.

Much like the rest of Canada, passengers in a boat are permitted to consume alcohol, but not while underway. The requirements are that the vessel have a permanent toilet, cooking facility and sleeping area, and must be anchored or moored. The captain is responsible for ensuring that before leaving the moorage all passengers have finished their beverages.

We all want to enjoy life on the water, and being a smart and sober operator helps to make that a reality.

If you see someone you suspect is impaired by alcohol and/or drugs, contact your local police or 911. Try to have as much information as possible and be prepared to answer questions about:

  • ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ Vessel licence number,
  • ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ name of boat,
  • ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ description of boat or watercraft,
  • ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ direction of travel,
  • ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ description of the person operating the vessel,
  • ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ number of occupants/description,
  • ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ location and any specific landmarks.

Do not try to follow or intercept someone you suspect is impaired.​ Report it to police and let them handle it.

Nova Scotia’s beautiful waters are extremely hard to resist, so our boaters want to be on the water every day. Make boating on our waters more enjoyable by vowing to be a sober operator and operating your vessel in a safe and respectful manner.

For a full list of fines and penalties for impaired operation of a vehicle visit:

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