It’s Summer! Ohio Officials Warn Against Boating Under The Influence Of Cannabis

Driving a boat in Ohio will carry the same restrictions on impairment from alcohol and cannabis as driving a car. Officials in the state are concerned that the approval of Issue 2 last year—legalizing cannabis for adult use in the state—will have an impact on habits as boating season comes into full gear.

The Ohio Department of Commerce Divisions of Liquor Control and Cannabis Control and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) issued an announcement Monday, clarifying that smoking cannabis is prohibited in addition to alcohol while driving a boat in the state.

In Ohio it is illegal to operate a boat with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or higher or be under the influence of cannabis—the same rules that apply to driving a car. “No person shall operate or be in physical control of any vessel underway, or manipulate any water skis or similar device if the person is under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs,” the law reads. In addition, for minors under 21, it is an offense to operate a vessel while having a BAC of 0.02 or more.

“Alcohol and boating do not mix,” said Jaqueline DeGenova, Superintendent of the Division of Liquor Control. “We urge all boaters to prioritize safety by staying sober while operating a vessel and responsibly enjoying Ohio’s waterways.”

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