Driver or passenger, RCMP can fine you for drinking on your boat

To drink on a boat in B.C. it must be licensed or have sleeping accommodations, cooking facilities and a toilet.

Just ahead of the B.C. Day long weekend an Okanagan woman is warning her fellow boaters to not crack a beer onboard, unless they’re willing to get a costly ticket.

Lorraine Dauenhauer says while recently out on the water, police officers pulled up and advised her and her friends that unless the boat had a permanent cooking facility and a bed— like a houseboat or a yacht—a boat operator could be fined $250 for anyone who is drinking on board. That means it’s not just the captain of the boat who has to stay booze-free — all her passengers have to, as well.

All of this is contrary to popular belief and what the authorities have previously stated.

In the past, RCMP have said that a person is allowed to have alcohol onboard a boat, as a boat is considered a private place.

RELATED: Reserve constables patrol Okanagan Lake

But police note that several boats tied together creates a “public space”; therefore, alcohol is not permitted in this circumstance.

According to Julie Leroux with Transport Canada, boaters can also be fined $230 for consuming or possessing liquor in an open container in a public place and $115 for public intoxication under the B.C. Liquor Control and Licensing Act.

In regards to drinking on a boat without a permanent cooking or sleeping facility, Leroux said under B.C. Liquor Control and Licensing Act alcohol can be consumed on the deck or in the cabin if the boat is licensed or is a boat that the public does not have access to with sleeping accommodations, cooking facilities and a toilet.

RELATED: 5 things to remember if hitting the water this long weekend

A special event permit license is the only license that can be purchased for vessels according to the B.C. Liquor Control and Licensing Act.

The following must also be met:

  • The applicant for the licence has entered into a contract to moor the vessel at a dock located in British Columbia for a period satisfactory to the general manager, or owns a dock located in British Columbia at which the vessel will be moored
  • Unless the vessel is exempt from the requirements of the Canada Shipping Act, 2001, the crew and captain of the vessel hold the appropriate certification under that Act and the vessel is registered under and complies with the requirements of that Act

Leroux also emphases that it is a criminal offence to drive a boat or vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Operators with more than 80 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood can be fined $1,000 for the first offence, 30 days in jail for the second offence and 120 days in jail for a third offence.

“A boat’s operator may also be charged with careless operation under Transport Canada’s Small Vessel Regulations, which came into force 40 years ago,” stated Leroux. “The penalty for this offence is $350 plus court costs.”


@Jen_zee
jen.zielinski@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Rural dividend grants awarded in Kootenay West

Kootenay West MLA Katrine Conroy made the grant announcements in Trail on Thursday

West Kootenay gleaner’s group gets big funding boost

CBT grant allows project to save more local produce from compost bin

Fruitvale man identified in fatal zipline accident in Thailand

Spencer Donaldson, 25, was from Fruitvale, B.C., the city’s mayor has confirmed

RDCK passes climate change ‘call to arms’

Director says the statement will help guide policy

Facing high regulatory barriers, Kootenay cannabis producers gather for support

Symposium on barriers facing legalization attended by hundreds

VIDEO: Alberta man creates world’s biggest caricature

Dean Foster is trying to break the world record for a radio show contest

Should B.C. lower speed limits on side roads to 30 km/h?

Vancouver city councillor wants to decrease speed limits along neighbourhood side roads

Lawsuit eyed over union-only raise for B.C. community care workers

‘Low-wage redress’ leaves 17,000 employees out, employers say

Landlord of alleged Okanagan shooter recounts deadly day

Tony Friesen was working in one of the units of his Penticton building when he heard shots

Foreign national arrested in connection to thefts at YVR

A woman, 60, is being held in police custody as Richmond RCMP investigate

Police pursue pesky porker on Vancouver Island

‘This was allegedly not the pig’s first escape’

Westjet tries again to dismiss proposed class-action lawsuit alleging discrimination

Former flight attendant claims airline broke contractual promise to create harassment-free workplace

Man airlifted to hospital after apparent hunting incident in East Kootenay

The man was in stable condition when he was flown out of Fairmont Hot Springs to a Calgary hospital

Police probe eight fires set at B.C. elementary school

Nanaimo RCMP say fires appear to have been set intentionally

Most Read