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We had a discussion at lunch regarding the safety and legality of drinking beer while rafting (specifically, but could apply to kayaking as well). The laws by state may vary, but generally speaking, I believe it's illegal to have open containers in motorized boats (ski boats, etc like you'd see in lakes and resevoirs) within reach of the driver of the boat. For those types of water craft, it's pretty obvious as to why, it's a safety issue, just like drinking and driving in a car. Those are all motorized though, while most water craft on the rivers are not.

Is there any law that applies similar logic to rafting or kayaking?

As far as I know, it's actually more of an un-written rule that you must have beer WITHIN reach of the oarsman/guide of a raft... :rolleyes:
 

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We had a discussion at lunch regarding the safety and legality of drinking beer while rafting (specifically, but could apply to kayaking as well). The laws by state may vary, but generally speaking, I believe it's illegal to have open containers in motorized boats (ski boats, etc like you'd see in lakes and resevoirs) within reach of the driver of the boat. For those types of water craft, it's pretty obvious as to why, it's a safety issue, just like drinking and driving in a car. Those are all motorized though, while most water craft on the rivers are not.

Is there any law that applies similar logic to rafting or kayaking?

As far as I know, it's actually more of an un-written rule that you must have beer WITHIN reach of the oarsman/guide of a raft... :rolleyes:

search the thread "BUI"
and a few come up explaining this topic....
 

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BUI

Colorado just passed a law that is illegal for any operator of a water craft to be drinking. This includes rafts and kayaks.
The State of Colorado has made it illegal to live life and have fun! Any person who has a paddle in there hand and as is over a .08 % BLD ALC level can be given a DUI. This law came in to effect after a jack ass murdered his kid towing him on a tube at 50MPH behind a power boat on Horse Tooth Reservoir. Hey blamed it on the alcohol. The guy was out water skiing the next day while dive rescue was looking or his son...

So we are all paying the price for his actions..
 

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I guess if we want to drink on the river we'll just all have to become tubers.
 

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per my dh:
I thought the whole point of DUI laws was to protect other vehicles and pedestrians. Now BUI, includes rafts and kayaks?! Really, what is a drunk kayaker going to do to anyone other than himself? We need a pro-choice drinking movement. If you wanna drink and your not hurting anyone else...it's my body, so eff-off.
 

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The legislation used to read and apply to motorboats and sailboats but was changed to "vessels" instead of the specific crafts. I can't remember where I read it but they consider a vessel pretty much any boat or multi-chambered inflatable. Seriously tubes are still exempt as they are not considered a vessel since they don't have a hull, bunch of BS.
 

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Thank Baby Jesus that I can still go chainsaw in the woods drunk out of my mind and shoot guns.

That is a pretty good double play right there. Someone want to drive home?
 

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Didn't stop us from enjoying a brew after running Pine creek and Numbers today! But I have to admit we will skip Fractions Frog rock next time at this level as it was mostly rock dodging. No surprise to me, but a cold one in hand made that part bearable! The only real benefit was my friend not having to pay for a day pass and the shuttle was real easy! In all seriousness I can't see too many problems as how often does one see a ranger on the river. I believe if you are discreet about it and not creating a scene, you will not be bothered. Just don't get plastered and belligerent on the river and you should be fine.
 

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BUI

You just wait! Once the state realizes how much money they can make with arrests and fines you are going to see a cop in every eddy! The State loves to show off it’s muscle I could see fancy new patrol boats stopping every and any group of rafters that look at all questionable.. More river patrols, more lives being turned upside down. You just wait..

Could you imagine floating down to Hecla and being greeted by a State Patrol Officer asking you to give a breathalyzer..

.08 BUI
.05 BWAI
 

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You just wait! Once the state realizes how much money they can make with arrests and fines you are going to see a cop in every eddy! The State loves to show off it’s muscle I could see fancy new patrol boats stopping every and any group of rafters that look at all questionable.. More river patrols, more lives being turned upside down. You just wait..

Could you imagine floating down to Hecla and being greeted by a State Patrol Officer asking you to give a breathalyzer..

.08 BUI
.05 BWAI
I seriously doubt that. They would have to hire and train a lot of people to pull that one off...and we didn't even have enough money to fix some of the major roads this past year. Not to mention...a large portion of these rivers are in USNF and BLM lands...and I can tell you right now...there is no way the US Gov. is going to spend money hiring and training employees to write tickets on the rivers...the cost would be outrageous...and in little to no time there would be a drought in boating...and therefore not enough revenue to support the officers employment.

At least that's my take on it...
 

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I'm so tired of stupid laws written by lazy politicians who feel they need to "do something" so they can get there name in the paper.

I believe if it doesn't have a motor, then you can be drunk as a skunk while operating it. Bicycles, Horses, Rafts, hanglider, whatever...

The whole reason behind DUI laws was to keep people from getting drunk behind the wheel and killing other people. Why can't we just keep it at that?
 
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