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Author Topic: Is it legal to drink while crabbing in a rental boat in NJ?  (Read 13069 times)
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joepe
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« Reply #20 on: December 01, 2010, 01:27:29 AM »

YOU SHOULD NEVER BE INTOXICATED WHILE ON THE WATER.  YOU WILL BE A DANGER TO YOURSELF AND TO OTHERS- INCLUDING SOMEONE WHO MAY HAVE TO RESCUE YOU, ONE OF YOUR PASSENGERS, OR SOMEONE ON ANOTHER BOAT THAT YOU COLLIDE WITH! Angry Angry Angry

That said, you are permitted to have open containers of alcohol (i.e. beer) while on a boat under certain conditions. It also depends on whether you are a passenger or the operator of the boat and whether or not the boat is "under way"  (if you are moving you are considered as being "under way".  This includes under power, sail, rowing or even just drifting).  You are not considered to be "under way" if the boat is anchored or is tied to a dock.

How it was explained to me:

If you are the operator of the boat ("under way") and you have an open container of alcohol in your possesion (in your hand) while the boat is "under way" its the same as having an open container of alcohol in a car. 

If you are the operator a boat ("under way") and the open container is within your reach - even if you are not physically holding it-it's the same as having an open container of alcohol in a car.

If you are operating the boat (the boat is "under way") and are found with a blood alcohol of .08 or above, you are a DUI just like a car.
Fines and penalties increase for higher BAC & repeat offenses.  Any offenses go against your Driver's license as well, and your auto insurance will be hit with a surcharge.

The only time an operator of a boat can have an open container of alcohol in his possession and not be in trouble is if the boat is anchored or tied to a dock (not "under way") and presumably you are not "operating" anything.

Passengers are ok whether the boat is "under way" or not.
 If the boat is drifting...I'm not sure who would be considered the "operator", but it might be up to the officer's discretion based on where you are in the boat (i.e. who is closest to the controls).

SO  use your common sense out there for your own sake and the sake of everyone else around you.  Things can go bad reallly fast when water is involved even with out alcohol in the mix.
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Ron
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« Reply #21 on: December 01, 2010, 07:58:30 AM »

Thanks for the update.
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