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Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) Limits

Operators of Recreational Watercraft

Laws addressing blood alcohol concentration limits applicable to operators of recreational watercraft.

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Variables: Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) Limits: Operators of Recreational Watercraft

  1. BAC Limit

    • Blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is a measure of the amount of alcohol in a person's bloodstream. Although BAC levels are commonly expressed in percentage terms, State laws generally specify BAC levels in terms of grams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood (often abbreviated as grams per deciliter, or g/dL). "No Law" identifies jurisdictions that do not establish a BAC limit, although these jurisdictions may prohibit operating a recreational watercraft while under the influence of alcohol.
  2. Per se
    • Per se statute is present (check mark):

      • Identifies jurisdictions with per se BAC statutes. These statutes specify the BAC level at which a person is operating recreational watercraft illegally. If the operator is shown to have a BAC level at or above the per se limit, a violation has occurred without regard to other evidence of intoxication or sobriety. The BAC limit by itself establishes a violation.
    • Per se statute not present (column is blank):
      • Identifies jurisdictions without per se BAC statutes. The BAC limit provides evidence of being under the influence of alcohol while operating a recreational watercraft, but it does not, by itself, constitute a violation. Under these statutes, defendants may provide evidence that, in spite of the BAC level, they were not under the influence and therefore not in violation. The weight given to the BAC evidence may vary across jurisdictions. This differentiates other statutes from per se statutes, which provide that exceeding the BAC limit is itself a violation and only the validity of the BAC measurement is at issue.