Local RCMP institute ‘zero-tolerance policy’ for impaired boaters

Stettler RCMP will be conducting enforcement activities at Buffalo Lake this summer and would like to inform the general public

  • Jun. 6, 2012 3:00 p.m.

Stettler RCMP will be conducting enforcement activities at Buffalo Lake this summer and would like to inform the general public of their zero-tolerance policy regarding boating and the consumption of alcohol on the lake.

The rules for alcohol and boating are very strict and the only vessels that are permitted to have alcohol on board must meet all of the following criteria:

— The vessel must have permanent sleeping facilities, permanent cooking facilities and a permanent toilet and must be anchored or secured alongside a dock.

If you’re missing any of the criteria listed above, it’s against the law to have alcohol aboard your boat.

Most pleasure boats that operate on Buffalo Lake don’t meet the criteria.

The RCMP will issue fines to every boat that’s not equipped to have alcohol aboard. Boating while impaired is an offence under the Criminal Code of Canada and operators with more than 80 milligrams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood are liable to the following fines, plus a driving suspension:

First offence is at minimum $600; second offence is a minimum of 14 days of imprisonment; and third offence is a minimum of 90 days of imprisonment.

Being charged with impaired operation of your boat will result in the suspension of your driver’s licence, as well. Also, a $115 fine will be issued to every person aboard the boat that’s in possession of alcohol, and you may be ordered to leave the lake.

The RCMP will be starting their patrols on the lake and boat launches to enforce the above-mentioned laws.

The RCMP is asking for the general public’s assistance and support in order to keep our lake safe this summer.

If you see anyone that might be operating or consuming alcohol on the lake, please call 403-742-3381.

A reminder to boat owners, you must have the following when operating your boat: life jackets for every person on board; boat operator’s licence; licenced vessel 10 horsepower and up (hull number must be visible); two paddles; horn or sounding device; fire extinguisher; manual bailing device; and don’t exceed the passenger capacity.

Please check Transport Canada’s “Safe Boating Guide,” or find it on the Internet for all boating requirements.

SGT. DUNCAN BABCHUK – Stettler RCMP detachment