Reference Guide to State Boating Laws

The Reference Guide to State Boating Laws answers a number of questions related to recreational boating safety public law. Topics covered include boating education, operator age, water skiing, boat noise, numbering & titling, personal watercraft, boating under the influence, personal flotation devices and more.

The data in the guide was supplied by the states and collectively updated during 2007. Data can also be updated by boating law administrators (or designates) for the individual states.

The information is subject to change at any time and facts should be verified with the BLAs if there are any questions.

To access the data, click on the drop down menu below and select a topic area.

Blood Alcohol Content
[Table 5.1]

State

What is the BAC level at which a person is considered intoxicated in your state?

Does your state have a lower threshold for BAC for minor boaters?

If you answered "Yes" to the previous question, what is the BAC level for minors?

Alabama

0.08 

Yes 

0.00% 

Alaska

0.08 

No 

 

American Samoa

0.08 

 

 

Arizona

0.08 

Yes 

none allowed 0.00 

Arkansas

.08 for adults; .02 for minors (under 21) 

Yes 

0.002 

Australia

 

 

 

British Columbia

 

 

 

California

Recreational boat operators 0.08 BAC Minors under 21 y.o., 0.01 BAC Commercial operator 0.04 BAC  

Yes 

0.01 BAC 

Colorado

0.10 or more 

no 

 

Connecticut

.08 adults .02 under age 21 

Yes 

.02 under age 21 

Delaware

0.08 

No 

 

District of Columbia

0.08 

No 

 

Florida

Blood/breath alcohol level of 0.08 or greater. 

Yes 

Blood/breath alcohol level of 0.02 or greater. 

Georgia

0.08 

Yes 

0.02 

Guam

0.08 

No 

 

Hawaii

0.08 

Yes 

Idaho

0.08 

No 

 

Illinois

0.08 

No  

 

Indiana

0.08 

Yes 

Any amount of blood alcohol is a violation for anyone under the age of 21 yrs old  

Iowa

0.08 

No 

 

Kansas

.08 unless a minor than it is .02 

Yes 

0.02 

Kentucky

0.08 

No 

 

Louisiana

0.08 

Yes 

under the age of 21 it is .02 

Maine

0.08 

Yes 

For a person less than 21 years of age, while having any amount of alcohol in the blood. 

Manitoba (Canada)

 

 

 

Maryland

0.08 

No 

 

Massachusetts

0.08 

Yes  

0.02  

Michigan

0.1 

No 

 

Minnesota

0.08 

No 

 

Mississippi

0.1 

No 

 

Missouri

0.1 

No 

 

Montana

0.08 

No 

 

Nebraska

0.08 

No 

 

Nevada

0.08 

No 

 

New Hampshire

.08 higher by blood, breath or urine. Or between .03 and .08 along with other evidence.  

Yes 

.02 under 21 years of age 

New Jersey

0.08 

No 

 

New Mexico

0.08 

No 

 

New York

.08 for adults .04 for commercial operators .02 for under 21 

Yes 

.02 for under 21 

North Carolina

.08 BAC 

No 

N/A 

North Dakota

0.1 

No 

 

Northern Mariana Islands

Law does identify that no operations but does not identify BAC level in percentage. 

No 

none 

Ohio

0.08 or more BAC.  

Yes 

Under 21 years old 0.02 BAC. 

Oklahoma

0.1 

No 

 

Ontario (Canada)

 

 

 

Oregon

.08% BAC 

No  

 

Pennsylvania

0.08 

Yes 

0.02 

Puerto Rico

n/a 

No 

 

Quebec (Canada)

 

 

 

Rhode Island

0.08 

No 

 

South Carolina

It is unlawful for a person to operate a moving motorized water device or water device undersail upon the water of the State while under the influence of alcohol or drugs to the extent that the persons faculties to operate are materially and appreciably impaired. If there was at that time 0.08 of one percent or more by weight of alcohol in the person's blood, it may be inferred that the person was under the influence of alcohol. 

No 

 

South Dakota

0.08 

No 

 

Tennessee

0.08 

No 

 

Texas

0.08 

No  

 

Utah

0.08 

Yes 

"not a drop" Minors cannot have any alcohol in their system 

Vermont

0.08 

Yes 

Under 21 .02 

Virgin Islands

 

 

 

Virginia

0.08 

Yes 

0.02 

Washington

0.00% 

No 

 

West Virginia

0.08 

No 

 

Wisconsin

0.08 

Yes 

Absolute Sobriety 

Wyoming

0.1 

No