Boating and Alcohol

Simple Facts about Boating and Alcohol Use in Kansas

Although it is not illegal to have or consume alcohol on a boat in the State of Kansas, it is illegal to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs while operating a boat or personal watercraft on Kansas water. Any person who operates or attempts to operate a boat has given consent to an alcohol and/or drug test by KDWPT Law Enforcement Officers. Failure to submit to a test will result in loss of boating privileges for three months, and a conviction of boating under the influence is punishable by fine and/or imprisonment and the loss of boating privileges. Successful completion of an approved Boating Education Course may also be required.

Many factors contribute to the way alcohol affects a person on the water, such as the sun, wind, glare off the water, dehydration, and motion of the waves, causing a person to become intoxicated 3 times faster than on shore.

Just like on land, having a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or higher is considered legally intoxicated. Anyone under the age of 21 is considered to be legally intoxicated if their BAC is .02% or higher.

It is illegal for the owner or operator of a boat to allow someone who is under the influence of alcohol or drugs to operate their boat. An intoxicated adult instructing a child who is under 12 years of age or a person who was born on or after January 1, 1989 who has not completed a boater safety course, is considered to be operating under the influence.

Always designate a sober, experienced boat operator to make your day on the lake the safest it can be!