Boating is one of the best activities for the summer months in Nebraska. Whether you're hitting the river or a lake, there's nothing quite as fun as spending time with family and friends on the water.
While boating is a fun venture, you should keep in mind that it can be extremely dangerous. People who don't pay attention or who become intoxicated can put you or others at risk, which is why it's a good idea to know the laws and how they apply to you on the water.
In Nebraska, you can be fined up to $1,000 and face up to six months in jail for operating a boat with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 percent or higher. You will be charged with boating under the influence (BUI). You will get a BUI charge if you refuse a chemical blood alcohol test as well, so it's usually better to submit to the test than to refuse.
Another thing to keep in mind is that it is illegal to operate a boat on the water between sundown and sunrise. This is for safety in Nebraska's parks and waterways. You should always have a plan in place to get back to the marina or dock by sundown to stay safe. This also helps other know that you've returned safely before nightfall, so any people who go missing or who have been involved in a collision can be accounted for by those who are missing them.
If you're charged with an DUI or for boating under the influence, remember your rights. It's wise to discuss how to defend yourself before you speak with the authorities or go to trial.
Source: Outdoor Nebraska, "Boating Regulations," accessed June 14, 2018