What is the Penalty for Boating Under the Influence?

a group of friends drinking on a boat

Just as it is against the law to drive a car while drunk, it’s also illegal to operate a motorized boat while intoxicated. Nevertheless, many people operate a boat while under the influence during the summer months.

Below, our Minneapolis defense attorneys discuss the potential consequences of this crime.

What Does a BWI Involve?

A person may be charged with a Boating While Intoxicated (BWI) if one or both of the following are true:

  • The boat operator is impaired by alcohol or drugs to an extent that the person does not “possess that clearness of intellect and that control … that they otherwise would have.”
  • The boat operator has a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or greater.

Potential Consequences of a BWI

The potential consequences of a BWI are similar to that of a DWI. For offenses that occur within a ten-year period, these penalties may include:

  • First Offense: Assuming the blood alcohol concentration is not twice the legal limit, the offense would be a misdemeanor that carries up to $1,000 in fines and/or up to 90 days in jail.
  • Second Offense: A gross misdemeanor that carries up to $3,000 in fines and a minimum of 30 days jail to one year in jail.
  • Third Offense: A gross misdemeanor that carries up to $3,000 in fines and a minimum of 90 days to one year in jail.
  • Fourth Offense or more: A felony crime that carries up to $14,000 in fines and three to seven years in prison.

Defending Your Rights After a BWI

If you have been charged with a BWI, there are several strategies that an experienced defense attorney may take to dismiss your case, including:

  • Accusations of defective testing equipment
  • Denials that you were under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the arrest
  • Proof that you were taking a controlled substance in accordance with a valid prescription

At Caplan & Tamburino Law Firm, P.A., our Minneapolis defense attorneys have extensive experience defending clients’ legal rights and protecting their futures. We’re here to help you, too.

Contact Caplan & Tamburino Law Firm, P.A. at (612) 444-5020 to schedule a free consultation.

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