Can You Get a Dui On A Kayak? Laws and Penalties – 2022

Can you get a DUI on a kayak? This is a question that many people may ask and it’s not an easy one to answer. It is a question that you may ask yourself if you ever kayak and it’s a good idea to know the facts.

The simple answer is yes, you can get a DUI on a kayak. However, the details may be a bit more difficult to explain. here we come up with the answer after conducting some research on this topic.

What Is the Definition of a DUI?

The first step to answering this question is to determine exactly what a DUI really is.

A DUI, or driving under the influence, means that a person is operating a motor vehicle while they have a blood alcohol content that is over the legal limit of .08. This means that if you are underage, .02 would be over the limit. It is also important to remember that for any level above a .00 you can still get a DUI as that is the level of the limit.

Can You Get A DUI On A Kayak?

The answer to this question really depends upon where you are and who is asking it. The best way to deal with these questions is to first ask what state the person lives in.

In some states, a kayak is considered a boat and therefore it has to follow the same rules as any other boat. In other states, it may be considered a vehicle and if so you can get a DUI on a kayak.

If you are in one of these latter states you might have to follow the rules for boats even though you are standing up in kayak paddling it.

The important thing to remember is that if you are kayaking and someone asks you about your blood alcohol content, make sure to find out what state they live in before you answer.

How Can You Be Charged With A DUI On a Kayak?

There are several ways that one can be charged with a DUI on a kayak.

One is by the typical method of failing a field sobriety test or having your blood drawn. The other way is to take the boat out and refuse to take an alcohol breathalyzer or blood test.

When you choose not to take the breathalyzer or blood test, you are automatically entered into a factor of guilt and can be charged with a DUI.

The last way is if you choose to blow over the limit while on the water even though you have not been asked to take the test.

All three ways will result in being charged with a DUI.

What Are the Penalties for a DUI On A Kayak?

The penalties for a DUI on a kayak depend upon where you live and if it is your first offense.

Typically, the fine will be around $1,000 and that does not include court costs or other various fees that may come up. You could have your license suspended for six months to a year and in some states a conviction for a DUI on a kayak can carry with it jail time.

There are also various classes that have to be taken if you do get convicted of a DUI on a kayak. These classes can run from $100-$250 and they will most likely take three months to complete the course, plus the time it takes to go to court.

What Does the Law Say About A DUI On A Layak?

The law is very specific when it comes to kayaks and canoes. They are included in the definition of vessels, which are watercraft used or capable of being used as a means of transportation on waterways.

They are also covered by the DUI laws that apply to watercraft.

It is important to note that while canoes and kayaks are included in the definition of vessels, motorized boats such as jet skis or speedboats are not covered under this definition.

What Are Some Other Laws that Might Apply to Canoes Or Kayaks?

The law for vessels also includes when you are in congested traffic when it is considered navigation when you are on a waterway when you are at anchor, and when you are moored.

One of the main points is that if your kayak is on a trailer and you are not attached to the water at any point, then it does not apply.

Making sure that your kayak is always registered may also help protect you from having a DUI.

Is It Possible to Get a DUI On A Stand Up Paddleboard?

Believe it or not, yes, you can get a DUI on a paddleboard even though it is not really considered a boat.

This means that the laws that apply to boats also apply to stand-up paddleboards. However, there are some differences between these two modes of transportation. One is that when you are in congested traffic or being used as a means to navigate the waterways, you are covered.


In the end, it is important to remember that if you are kayaking or stand-up paddleboarding, even though it may be easier than being in a boat, the laws still apply to you.

We hope that now you are well aware of the law about can you get a dui on a kayak.


Q1. What is a DUI on a kayak?

A. A DUI on a kayak refers to when you are in a kayak and drive it under the influence, or while intoxicated. The law that applies to this varies from state to state, but typically any form of boat or vessel can be subject to a DUI.

Q2. Is a kayak a vessel?

A. Yes, a kayak is considered a vessel under the law.

Q3. What are the penalties for a DUI on a kayak?

A. Penalties vary depending upon the state that you are in and whether this is your first offense or not. Typically it can be from $1,000-$5,000 in fines and could require court ordered classes. Your license may be suspended for up to a year or longer depending on your state’s regulations. You can also face jail time if you are convicted.

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