If you are caught operating a boat while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you will be arrested and charged with a DWI under the relevant state statute. In some jurisdictions, this crime is referred to as boating under the influence or BUI. Both state and federal authorities can arrest you for violating DWI boating laws. Specifically, federal officials, particularly the Coast Guard, have authority when a body of water runs through more than one state. This includes the Pacific Ocean and Atlantic Ocean as well as major bodies of water such as the Great Lakes or Mississippi River. Across the country, if your blood-alcohol level is .08 or above while operating a car, you will be arrested for driving while intoxicated. In many areas of the country, this same threshold applies to operating a boat; however, in some areas this threshold is as low as .05.
Penalties for Boating Under the Influence
Under DWI law, the penalties for boating under the influence can range from temporary detainment to jail time. The following are some DWI penalties you may receive for boating under the influence:
- Alcohol counseling
- Boating safety classes
- Community service
- Loss of boating privileges
- Loss of driver’s license
- Jail time
In some circumstances, being arrested for boating under the influence can directly impact you if you are later arrested for committing DWI on land. Depending on how much time has passed between the two offenses, your land-based DWI may be treated as a second offense, which can result in even harsher penalties. If you or someone you know has been arrested for Boating While Intoxicated and requires an SR22, please call one of our licensed agents at (855) 438-7353.