Alcohol or cannabis on the water: avoid trouble!

Consuming alcohol or cannabis and driving a boat can cause trouble. Just like driving a car, if you browse while consuming, you risk a criminal charge. Whether you’re at the helm or guarding the boat in port, when your abilities are impaired by alcohol or cannabis, you risk criminal prosecution.

What is “being impaired”?

Driving a boat while impaired by alcohol is a criminal offence. The alcohol limit permitted by law is 80 mg of alcohol/100 ml of blood. This is the famous “point zero eight” (.08).

But be careful: measuring your alcohol consumption does not mean that you are safe from accusations. The “.08” means that you are in violation, whether your faculties to drive are really impaired or not.

Driving a boat and smoking cannabis is also a criminal offence.

What if you’re guilty?

If you are guilty, your sentence will depend on your background and the amount of alcohol or cannabis consumed, among other things. The court will have to at least give you a fine and ban you from driving for a year. You will also have a criminal record. In some cases, there may even be a prison sentence.

Caution is required on the water as well as on the road.

Informative text – This text does not constitute legal advice; it is recommended to consult a lawyer or notary for such advice. Éducaloi is a non-profit organization whose mission is to inform Quebecers of their rights and obligations in clear language.


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