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What to Know About Boating Under the Influence in Rhode Island

Posted by April Picozzi | May 18, 2020 | 0 Comments

Boating is a popular recreational activity in Rhode Island, and enjoying a drink while on the water is a common way to enjoy a day. Many people don't realize, however, that boating under the influence is an offense that a boater can face. This isn't an offense that should be taken lightly, either—a charge of boating under the influence can be a criminal charge, and a conviction on your record can haunt you for years. If you have been charged with boating under the influence in Rhode Island, it's critical to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. 

Consequences of Boating Under the Influence in Rhode Island

Much like laws for driving under the influence, a person can be charged with boating under the influence if they are caught operating a boat with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08% or higher. The repercussions that a person can face for boating under the influence depend on two factors: how many prior offenses a person has on their record for boating under the influence and the person's BAC at the time they were pulled over.

First Offense of Boating Under the Influence

If a person has no prior offenses of boating under the influence, he or she can face three potential sets of consequences depending on his or her blood alcohol content at the time of the stop: 

  • .08% to .1%: a civil charge, a fine of up to $250, community service, a boating safety course, and a suspension of your boating license for up to 45 days.
  • .1% to .15%: a misdemeanor criminal charge, up to one year in jail, a fine of up to $300, community service, a boating safety course, and a loss of your boating license for up to six months. 
  • Over .15%: a misdemeanor criminal charge, up to one year in jail, a fine of up to $500, community service, a boating safety course, and a suspension of your boating license for up to six months. 

Second and Subsequent Offenses of Boating Under the Influence

Penalties become more severe for second and subsequent convictions of boating under the influence. For example, second and subsequent charges can carry additional penalties such as: 

  • Mandatory minimum sentences to serve upon conviction; 
  • Mandatory drug/alcohol treatment;
  • A loss of a person's boating license for up to three years; and
  • Seizure of the boat or watercraft by the state of Rhode Island.

Facing a Charge of Boating Under the Influence? We Can Help

If you are facing a charge of boating under the influence in Rhode Island, it's critical to seek legal assistance from an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible after your charge. At Inman & Tourgee, our team of criminal defense lawyers is committed to defending those who have been charged with boating under the influence. To speak to a member of the Inman & Tourgee legal team, fill out an online contact form or call (401) 823-9200 today.

About the Author

April Picozzi

PUBLIC ADJUSTER / OPERATIONS & FINANCE MANAGER April M. Picozzi joined the firm in 2013 as a licensed Public Adjuster and legal assistant to Mark D. Tourgee, Esq. She handles all aspects of personal injury claims including client intake, maintaining client files, negotiating settlements and assi...

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