Avoid Troubled Waters and Know the Ramifications of Boating Under the Influence
Operating Water Vehicles While Under The Influence of Alcohol or Drugs Can Have Devastating Repercussions for You Or Your Loved Ones.
When we think of the terms “driving under the influence” or “driving while intoxicated,” we usually think of automobiles. However, there is another and equally illegal form of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol: boating. The term “boating under the influence” is used to describe the illegal act of operating a boat while impaired. While the consequences for driving a car and operating a boat under the influence are different, they can both cause long-term damage to your productivity and ability to drive on a roadway or a waterway in New Jersey.
Proof of Boating Under the Influence in New Jersey
Boating while intoxicated means operating a motorized watercraft or a non-motorized craft of over 12 feet in length while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. In order for a prosecutor to prove BUI, they must prove three elements:
- The individual was operating a motorized craft or a non-motorized craft of over 12 feet in length,
- They were operating in New Jersey waters, and
- They were impaired by alcohol, a narcotic, hallucinogenic, or habit-forming drug in a way that limited normal faculties and thus placed you and others in danger. An illegal blood alcohol level is anything over .08%.
Driver’s License Suspension for Boating While Intoxicated in NJ
An individual’s boating and driver’s licenses will be suspended if that person is convicted of boating under the influence. The extent of the suspension depends on whether it is the individual’s first offense or they are a repeat offender.
Potential Consequences of Being Charged with Boating Under the Influence (BUI)
A BUI charge carries escalating penalties depending on whether they are a repeat offender. First offenders of a BUI containing a blood alcohol content (BAC) of between .08% and .1% are subject to suspension of their boating license for one year, suspension of their driver’s license for 3 months, and a fine of up to $400. First offenders whose BAC superseded .1% face a heightened punishment: a one year boating license suspension, a 7-12-month driver’s license suspension, and a fine of up to $500. If a person is convicted of committing a second boating under the influence offense within ten years of the first offense, they will be subject to between two and 90 days in jail, 6 months of community service, a two-year boating license suspension, a two-year driver’s license suspension, and up to $1000 in fines. If a person is convicted of committing a third or subsequent BUI offense within ten years of the first offense, they face no fewer than 180 days in jail, ten years of boating license and driver’s license suspensions, and $1000 in fines.
(BUI) Statute of Limitations in NJ
Boating under the influence charges carry a statute of limitations. According to New Jersey law, the state must file a court summons for boating under the influence no later than 90 days from the incident. If the summons is not filed within that time frame, the charge will be nullified.
Contact our Brick and Sea Girt Offices for Help with Your Boating Under the Influence Charges
Driving under the influence charges are a very serious matter in New Jersey. While it may appear that penalties related to boating while intoxicated do not carry the same weight as operating automobiles under the same circumstances, the charges are indeed very serious and can have life-changing effects on your professional and personal outlook. If you have been charged with boating under the influence anywhere in Southern New Jersey, seek the qualified counsel of an experienced DUI/BUI attorney at Bronzino Law Firm today.
Our legal team has substantial success representing clients in Ocean Township, Lavallette, Point Pleasant, Brick, Manasquan, Seaside Heights, Asbury Park, Sea Bright, Sea Girt, Monmouth Beach, and other communities in Monmouth and Ocean County in cases involving alcohol- and drug-related offenses. Contact us today at (732) 812-3102 to set up a free and confidential consultation to discuss your BWI case and get started immediately on your defense.