Many people are familiar with Driving While Intoxicated, more popularly known as DWI; however, not a lot of people are aware that there is also Boating While Intoxicated (BWI). It might sound awkward to those who never operated a boat, but for boaters, they are aware of it. The boating while intoxicated Texas law is strictly prohibited all over the state. Just like other violations, it also has jail time, fines and license suspension. So if it is your first time to hear of it and you are a boater or a new operator, better be careful when drinking.
This law prohibits people from operating any form of watercraft while on drugs or alcohol. When we say watercraft, it does not only involve a, but it also includes any water vessels such as an aquaplane or water ski. A craft is defined by law as any device propelled by water current which carries or transport people on the water.
The law may either be known as Boating While Intoxicated (BWI) or Boating Under Influence (BUI). Under the law, the person suspected of BUI or BWI is someone who is impaired by alcohol or drugs, so he is not able to have regular use of his physical or mental faculties. It is also someone who has a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher as shown through a test using his blood, urine or breathe.
You might be wondering what happens to a person who is proven to for BUI or BWI. There are similar consequences for everyone proven guilty. And just like DWI, the penalties are dependent on certain factors. The first factor considered is the number of convictions or number of time the accused has been involved in BWI and DWI. Yes, that is right, they count the number of priors for both DWI and BWI. The second consideration is if there is an accident that came about due to the intoxication and if it caused severe bodily injury to another. The last factor is if the crash resulting in BWI caused death. In such cases, the penalties can be severe.
First Offense BWI
For first time offenders, it is often considered as a class B misdemeanor, and the fine is up to $2000. The person will also have a jail time between 72 hours to 180 days. If the offense caused severe bodily harm, it is counted as a third-degree felony, and the sentence is between two to ten years in jail plus fines of a maximum of $10000. On the other hand, if it caused death, it is considered as a third-degree felony, and the sentence is between two to twenty years in prison plus a maximum fine of $10000.
Second Offense BWI
For your second offense in BWI or DWI, it will count as a class A misdemeanor. The fine will be a maximum of $4000 and jail time ranging from 30 days to one year.
Third Offense BWI
On the other hand, on your third BWI or DWI offense, it will count as a third-degree felony. The offender may face jail time of two to ten years and a fine up to $10000.
If you are currently facing any BWI or DWI cases, feel free to visit our firm for legal consultation and assistance.