Is It Legal to Drink While Kayaking or Canoeing in IN, KY, & TN?
For a lot of people enjoying time outdoors camping, hiking or kayaking also includes adult beverages but can you get in trouble if you drink and kayak?
Most anyone over the age of 16 knows the law when it comes to drinking and driving. Regardless of the state or whether you call it a DUI, DWI, or OWI, there are steep fines, penalties, and even jail time that coincide with being arrested for operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated.
It is illegal to boat and drink too and you can be arrested for this as well. In Indiana, they call it BWI or boating while intoxicated. It turns out, your boat or watercraft doesn't have to have a motor either.
Kayaks and Canoes
But what about drinking and canoeing or kayaking? Those are also considered a boat and even though they are not motorized it is illegal to drink while using one of these vessels. According to KayakGuru.com, it is illegal in all 50 states to operate a vessel if you have consumed alcohol or other intoxicants.
What Kind Of Penalties?
The penalty for operating a kayak, canoe, or other watercraft while intoxicated varies by state. In Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, and Tennessee you are at risk of jail time and large fines. In addition, in Tennessee, you could lose your operating privileges. In Indiana, a person found to be boating under the influence could potentially lose both their boating and driving privileges and in Illinois, it could even result in a felony conviction, according to boat-ed.com. The legal limit in all 4 states is 0.08%.
Always Play It Safe
In addition to getting caught and prosecuted, there is the risk of injury to yourself and others. Obviously, the risk far outweighs any reward you might find in cracking open a cold one while you float in a kayak or canoe so why risk it?