Drinking while boating poses a significant health and safety risk. It is also 100% preventable. Massapequa Takes Action Coalition has partnered with the Town of Oyster Bay to help raise awareness of this issue and to help keep residents safe this summer while on the water. Alcohol and drug use is a significant cause of fatal boating incidents in New York. Between 2005 and 2022, intoxication was found to be the primary contributing factor in 79 fatalities, 21.4% of all boating deaths, in NYS. In 2022 alone, alcohol or drugs, including marijuana, are known to have been a factor in 7 of the 28 total fatalities for the year .
Dangers of the effects of drinking while boating:
It is important to realize that on the water, even small amounts of alcohol may greatly impair one's ability to function in three critical areas: balance, coordination, and judgment. Pair this with environmental stressors such as glare, heat, vibration, and engine noise, and you can become quickly fatigued, greatly slowing your reaction time. Your ability to judge speed and distance are also impaired which can limit your ability to track moving objects .
Should you find yourself unexpectedly immersed in the water, your ability to survive decreases when under the influence. Alcohol will not only make it more difficult to reach for and put on a life jacket, it may also increase one's disorientation upon entering the water, reducing your chances of rescue .
If you are under the age of 21 in New York State, it is illegal to drink alcoholic beverages. Alcohol can affect a person’s ability to understand what is happening around them, which in-turn can decrease their ability to react to an emergency or operate a boat. For boaters who are new or unfamiliar to the water, the effects of alcohol or any substances may be even more dangerous.
New York State Law:
No one may operate a vessel on the waters of NYS while impaired or intoxicated through the consumption of either alcohol or drugs. New York law now prescribes heavy fines, imprisonment, and the suspension of operator privileges for violators .
OPRHP. NYS Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation. Safe Boating Lawful Operations. 
OPRHP. NYS Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation 2022. Recreational Boating Report. 
Sticker shock is an awareness campaign that is intended to educate the community about the dangers of selling or serving alcohol to anyone under the age of 21. We are trying to reduce youth alcohol consumption in the Massapequas by partnering with youth, retailers, parents, community members, prevention professionals, law enforcement, and businesses to raise public awareness about underage drinking to try to keep our youth alcohol free.
MTAC and Massapequa students created prevention messages, which were then printed onto stickers and bottle-neck hangers, and placed on products in liquor stores, beer distributors, pizzerias, and other establishments that sell alcoholic beverages. Our message – Don’t Buy for Minors!
MTAC acknowledges the following businesses for their participation in Sticker Shock this year:
- Aro Liquor Store
- Bottles on Broadway
- Calda Pizzeria & Restaurant
- Crossroads Wine & Liquor
- Frank’s Pizzeria Restaurant
- Leonardo’s Pizza & Restaurant
- Neighbors Deli & Catering
- New Broadway Wine and Liquors
- South Bay Beverages
- Village Wines & Spirits.
To learn more about our Alcohol and Teens Don’t Mix campaign, click here.