Boating is a fun and exciting way to enjoy time with friends and family. To ensure that your boating experience is enjoyable, it is important to practice safe boating practices. Here are three helpful ways to reduce risk while boating:

photo of a life preserver

Wear the Equipment!

Everyone on the boat, including the operator and all passengers, should wear an approved lifejacket or personal floatation device (PDF). Also, make sure your boat is equipped with all the recommended safety equipment.

Drive Sober!

Alcohol and boating do not mix – Boaters caught drinking and boating in Ontario face consequences similar to those for drinking and driving:

  • Immediate 3, 7 or 30 day driver’s licence suspension if caught with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) in the “warn” range of 0.05 to 0.08. Drivers caught in the “warn” range more than once will face a mandatory alcohol education program, and could be subject to treatment programs and ignition interlock.
  • Immediate 90-day administrative driver’s licence suspension and a $150 administrative monetary penalty for boaters exceeding a 0.08 BAC – or for failing or refusing to provide a breath or blood sample.
  • If convicted under the Criminal Code, the boater will also face:
      • Driver’s licence suspension, for one year up to a lifetime ban
      • Mandatory alcohol assessment, education or treatment, and follow-up
      • Ignition interlock condition on their driver’s licence for one year to up to a lifetime
      • Vehicle impoundment if caught driving a motor vehicle while under suspension

These sanctions apply to anyone who is caught drinking and operating motorized and non-motorized vessels, including power boats, canoes, kayaks, personal watercraft, sailboats, dinghies and other inflatable boats and rafts.

Get Trained!

Training gives you the knowledge to make smart choices when boating.

Please visit the following websites for more boating safety tips and advice: