RCMP issues impaired boating warning

The public is reminded that operating a boat under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a criminal offence.

The Comox Valley RCMP and ICBC remind boaters who choose to drink alcohol to think about how they and their passengers will get home after a day on the water.

“We’re hoping that people don’t boat after they’ve been drinking, or drink while they’re boating,” said Caroline Robinson, ICBC road safety co-ordinator for Mid/North Vancouver Island.

“It’s really in keeping with our impaired driving message for the month. Go out, have fun, but plan for a safe ride home.”

Statistics indicate that, on average, 78 people in B.C. die each year in car crashes involving impaired driving. A total of 46 per cent of impaired driving-related deaths occur from June to September.

“This is all about everybody getting home safe,” Robinson said. “You can arrange for a designated driver, call a taxi, take transit, stay over — whatever you need to do.”

Police remind boaters that a pleasure craft operator’s licence is required to use a boat.

The public is also reminded that operating a boat under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a criminal offence.

“If you are caught you will be charged criminally if you blow over,” Comox Valley RCMP Const. Rob Gardner said. “It’s the exact same idea as driving.”

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