Fish & Boat Commission Reminds Boaters that Boating Under the Influence is a Crime

HARRISBURG, Pa. (June 27) – As the busy July 4 holiday approaches, the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) is reminding vacationers that boating under the influence (BUI) is a serious crime and a threat to public safety.

“Boating under the influence is no different than driving a car after someone’s been drinking,” said PFBC Executive Director John Arway. “Alcohol impairs an individual’s ability to operate a vehicle safely. For the safety of all individuals on the water, please do not operate your boat, jet ski, canoe or kayak if you’ve been drinking.”

So far this year, five individuals have been charged with boating under the influence. PFBC waterways conservation officers arrested 60 individuals in 2012 and 62 in 2011 for boating under the influence.

“Many boaters may not know that the threshold for BUI is the same as with motor vehicles – 0.08 percent,” said Corey Britcher, director of the PFBC Bureau of Law Enforcement. “Fish and Boat officers regularly patrol waterways and will have an increased presence around this holiday.”

If convicted of boating under the influence, operators could face fines and jail time.

Pennsylvania has more than 331,000 registered boats. Because the July 4 holiday falls mid-week, the PFBC expects many families and friends will take vacation during the week, leading to a higher volume of boating activity on the days leading up to the weekend.

For more information on boating safety, visit