Refer to the Boating Statutes & Boating Regulations for current laws and regulations regarding boating in Colorado.
The changes to Colorado's Boating Under the Influence (BUI) law has taken effect!
On August 5th, 2008, Colorado's law on Boating Under the Influence (BUI) was greatly strengthened as the changes from the 2008 legislative session went into effect.
These changes include:
Eliminating the distinction that only operators of motor boats or sailboats can be arrested for being under the influence of alcohol, drugs or controlled substances. Now any person operating or in physical control of ANY vessel can be arrested. That includes watercraft operated by motor, wind, paddle and oar; such as jet skis, sailboats, motorboats, kayaks, canoes and rafts.
Reduced the limit on the Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) at which person operating a vessel are considered under the influence from .10 to .08, making it consistent with the limit for motor vehicle operators on Colorado roadways.
Drinking and boating can be just as dangerous, if not more so, than drinking and driving. This is because in addition to the negative affects on judgment, vision, balance, coordination and reaction times associated with alcohol consumption, water creates an even more hazardous environment due to the: motion of the boat and waves, wake and current; vibration of the boat; noise from motors; sun; glare; wind; and spray. Also keep in mind that boats are a lot different from vehicles since they steer from the rear, they have no brakes and there is no designated lanes or traffic control devices.
Whatever you decide to do for fun this summer, please remember to be safe and don't booze & boat!