Maryland Boating Law
“Water, water everywhere but not a drop to drink – liquor.”
Maryland has water everywhere: In its rivers, bays and the ocean; and Maryland’s waterways are one of the attractions that make the state so beautiful.
Where you have water, you will have boaters; and wherever there are boats and boaters you will also see someone drinking, and not just soft drinks. Most people do not think twice about drinking alcohol on their boat. To many boaters it’s part of the experience and the pleasure of boating with friends and family; and many boaters are responsible – but not all.
The same people who wouldn’t think of drinking and then driving on the highway don’t think twice about drinking on their boat. The reality is: accidents, injuries, and deaths result from drinking an boating just as much as when drinking and driving.
Maryland State law considers motor boats as motor vehicles: meaning it is against the law to operate a boat under the influence just as if they were in an automobile with the same percentage of alcohol in their system. The difference is, an Operating Under the Influence (OUI) conviction does not affect one’s driving privileges in Maryland; but they can lose your boating license and/or a fine up to $1,000 and a jail sentence of up to one year.
Boats operators are less prone to searches than auto drivers, but a boat can be stopped and searched by the Coast Guard or the Maryland Natural Resources Police Department. Simply operating a boat in Maryland implies consent to be tested for alcohol or drugs at any time.They do not have to have a reason.
Responsible boaters also maintain and protect their boat with quality Canvas Coverings from CMC Canvas LLC.