Dallas Boating While Intoxicated Lawyers
Just as individuals must take proper precautions while driving along Texas roadways, the same must be done while boating on Texas waters. Boating is popular hobby for many lake-goers in the Dallas area, but what many don’t realize is that a boating while intoxicated (BWI) charge is equally as serious as a DWI charge.
The Dallas BWI lawyers at the Law Offices of Mark T. Lassiter encourage all individuals to practice the highest standards of safety while driving motorized water vehicles. Always have your boating license on hand and always be sure to have enough life vests on board for yourself and other passengers. Boat drivers should also be aware of their alcohol intake, making sure to stay at least below the legal limit of impairment for the sake of their own life and the lives of other passengers.
At the Law Offices of Mark T. Lassiter, our Dallas lawyers understand that boating security and safety officers are sometimes over-zealous when targeting drunk boat drivers and may heighten one’s boating while intoxicated offense. Sometimes, boaters can have the physical signs of intoxication, such as redness, fatigue, or instability because of “sea legs,” even when they haven’t consumed any alcohol or intoxicating substances.
Penalties for Boating While Intoxicated
At the Law Offices of Mark T. Lassiter, we understand that your BWI charge may seem extremely ambiguous or over-zealous, but it is imperative to understand the penalties that may come from boating while intoxicated. Such penalties may include the following:
- Revocation of your boating license
- A $2,000 fine
- Up to 180 days in state jail
The penalties listed above are those of a first offense, but the consequences may be heightened after a second or third offense.
Contact The Dallas Boating While Intoxicated Lawyers
A boating while intoxicated charge can have detrimental effects on your future professional and personal life. As such, if you are facing a BWI conviction in the Dallas area, it would likely be wise to get in touch with the experienced BWI lawyers at the Law Offices of Mark T. Lassiter today. Call us at at (214) 845-7007 for quality legal assistance.
Boating While Intoxicated FAQs
Can I lose my boating license for a BWI charge?
Yes, the revocation of a boating license is a possible consequence of a boating under the influence conviction. Under Texas law, all boaters who operate a watercraft while intoxicated face license suspension. For a first time offense, a boating license can be suspended for up to six months. A repeat offender is likely to have their license suspended for a minimum of one year. First-time BWI penalties in Texas also usually include a jail sentence between 72 hours and 180 days, as well as a monetary fine up to $2,000 If a BWI incident resulted in any serious damage or bodily injuries, the consequences will be much harsher. Because the penalties for a BWI conviction can be very serious, it is important to find strong legal representation.
Are boating while intoxicated charges handled the same way as DUI charges?
Boating while intoxicated laws are very similar to DUI and DWI laws. Just like a DUI incident, law enforcement officials can stop a boat if they suspect the driver is under the influence of drugs or alcohol. In both BWI and DUI/DWI cases, the driver in question is considered legally intoxicated and therefore incapable of operating a boat or motor vehicle if their blood alcohol content is over .08, or if they are under the influence of drugs and do not have “normal use of mental or physical faculties.” Penalties of a BWI conviction are also similar to a DUI conviction, as both may include fines, jail time, and the revocation of a license.
What kind of boats can BWI charges affect?
Texas law states that it is illegal to operate any watercraft while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The state laws define “watercraft” as any water vehicle used to carry or transport a person. Many BWI offenders have found themselves facing these charges because they were simply unaware of the illegality of operating certain watercrafts while under the influence. For example, many jet skiers do not realize they can be arrested for operating their jet ski while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.