MINNEAPOLIS - It's a question on some Minnesotans' minds ahead of the big Fourth of July holiday.

Are you allowed to have a beer while boating?

A viewer reached out to us -- saying the information he found isn't clear-- and he'd like us to verify.

Specifically -- Andrew asks -- is it legal for the boat operator to have an open container and be sipping it as long as they remain under the legal limit of .08 blood alcohol level?

Our Verify source is the Hennepin County Sheriff's Water Patrol.

Officials say this is one of the few areas that BWI laws and DWI laws are different.

We can Verify that people are allowed to have an open beer on a boat.

The open container part of Minnesota's DWI law does not apply to boats.

Even the boat operator can drink -- and drive the boat-- as long as they are not over or near the legal limit of point-oh-eight.

But keep in mind, if the boat operator is driving carelessly or recklessly and is over .04, they can still be arrested for driving drunk.

Officials remind boaters that being arrested for BWI carries similar penalties and fines as DWI and that can affect your insurance the same as a DWI.

They recommend that you always plan to have a sober driver on the water just as you would on land.