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As boats were hauled out of the water at the Comox Marina this week, members of the RCMP and ICBC’s Road Safety team were there to greet them.

It’s part of an impaired driving and boating campaign taking place this month.

With more boaters than usual out enjoying the waters around Vancouver Island, police say it’s important to remember drinking and boating is illegal.

“The laws are pretty specific the only time you can drink on your boat is if you’re in a boat that has a toilet facility, a cooking facility, and a sleeping facility, and you’re tied up to a dock so otherwise, no you can’t drink on your boat,” said Comox Valley RCMP Const. Perry Snyder.

According to the B.C. government of the 48 deaths each year on the water, 42 per cent are alcohol-related.

But the concern for police doesn’t end once you’re back on land.

“Our issue is the driver may be the person who usually tows the boat and he’s had a few on the water,” said Snyder.

“You’re pulling a boat that could weigh a few thousand pounds it changes the way your vehicle responds it changes the way your vehicle brakes,” he said.

So the message is whether you’re boating or not, make other plans if you plan to drink.

“Think ahead, how are you going to get home are you going to have a designated driver are you going to take a cab are you going to take transit are you going to sleep over whatever you need to do,” said Caroline Robinson, with ICBC Road Safety.

Since 46 per cent of all impaired driving deaths happen during the summer months, the team hopes everyone hears their message loud and clear.

“You can enjoy, you can have fun but we want to make sure everyone gets home safely at the end of the day,” said Robinson.

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