Penalties for Boating While Intoxicated

As the weather gets warmer, Texas’s extensive waterways are more and more likely to be populated with boats and other watercraft. While it is legal to have open containers on boats, boat operators are under the same blood alcohol content (BAC) restrictions that drivers are. As such, boat operators with a BAC above the legal limit of 0.08% can be charged with boating while intoxicated (BWI).

While less severe that driving while intoxicated charges, a BWI conviction can carry heavy fines, jail time, and the revocation of a person’s driver’s license. Of particular note to boat operators, to simply operate a watercraft on Texas waters is to consent to any search by law enforcement. In other words, law enforcement does not need probable cause to board your vessel and administer a breathalyzer.

Maximum Sentences for Boating While Intoxicated Charges

A BWI conviction can have a devastating impact on an individual and their family. As with other charges, multiple convictions carry harsher sentences. In Texas, BWI convictions carry the possibility of the following sentences:

  • 180 days of jail time and/or a $2,000 fine for first convictions
  • One year of jail time and/or a maximum $4,000 fine for a second conviction
  • 2-10 years of jail time and/or a maximum $10,000 fine for a third conviction

For those charged with BWI, it is important to know that these charges are defensible. Contacting an experienced lawyer as early on in the legal process as possible can be critical to giving you a chance of receiving a favorable outcome.

Contact a Boating While Intoxicated Lawyer in Lewisville Today

If you are face allegations of boating while intoxicated, the Lewisville lawyers at Alexander & Associates can help you understand your legal options. To speak with one of our lawyers today, please call (972) 420-6560 today.