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What you need to know about Boating Under the Influence

Posted by Lauren V. Iannelli | May 17, 2019 | 0 Comments

Yes, it is a real charge. Boating Under the Influence, found under Rhode Island General Laws §46-22.2-3 states, a person can be charged if they are suspected to be operating a motor craft in waters, while intoxicated.  Even though it is not a crime or violation to drink alcohol on a boat or even while driving a boat, if you are found to be intoxicated you can be charged with Boating Under the Influence. If you are charged and refuse to submit to a chemical test you can be charged with that additionally, under Rhode Island General Laws §46-22.2-5.

What is the legal limit when operating a boat or motor craft?

                0.8, the same as operating a motor vehicle.

What are the penalties for Boating Under the Influence?

  • A first offense with a BAC of .08- .10, is NOT a criminal charge, but rather a violation. It can carry a fine of between $100-$250, community service, attend a boating safety course, and a loss of their boating license for up to 45 days.
  • A first offense with a BAC of .10-.15 or unknown, is a misdemeanor criminal charge which carries a penalty of up to 1 year at the Adult Correctional Institute. A fine of between $100-$300, 10- 60 hours of community service, participation in a boating safety course, and a 3-6 month loss of their boating license.
  • A first offense with a BAC of .15 or greater, is a misdemeanor criminal charge which carries a penalty of up to 1 year at the Adult Correctional Institute. A fine of $500, 20-60 hours of community service, participation in a boating safety course, and a 3-6 month loss of their boating license.
  • A Second offense with a BAC of .08-.15, or unknown, is a misdemeanor criminal charge which carries a penalty of up to 1 year at the Adult Correctional Institute, including a mandatory minimum 10 days to serve. A fine of $400, potential alcohol/drug treatment, and a 1-2 year loss of their boating license.
  • A Second offense with a BAC of .15 or greater is a misdemeanor criminal charge which carries a penalty of up to 1 year at the Adult Correctional Institute, including a mandatory minimum 6 months to serve. A fine of $1000, potential alcohol/drug treatment, and a 2 year loss of their boating license.
  • A third offense with a BAC of .08-.15, or unknown, is a felony criminal charge which carries a penalty of 3 years at the Adult Correctional Institute, including a mandatory minimum 1 year to serve. A fine of $400, potential alcohol/drug treatment, and a 2-3 year loss of their boating license. The watercraft may be subject to seizure by the State of RI.
  • A third offense with a BAC of 15 or greater, is a felony criminal charge which carries a penalty of 5 years at the Adult Correctional Institute, including a mandatory minimum 3 years to serve. A fine of $1000, potential alcohol/drug treatment, and a 3 year loss of their boating license. The watercraft may be subject to seizure by the State of RI.

Other things to know about Boating Under the Influence:

  1. If you have a child under the age of 13 on the boat when the offense is committed the court could sentence you to a year to serve at the Adult Correctional Institute.
  2. A juvenile can be charged with this crime
  3. If you are caught operating a watercraft at a time when your license has been suspended, you are subject to a new misdemeanor charge, which carries a mandatory additional license suspension of 2 years.

Have one of our trial attorneys, experienced in defending Boating Under the Influence and Refusal to Submit to a Chemical Test associated with Boating Under the Influence, defend you!

About the Author

Lauren V. Iannelli

Lauren V. Iannelli is an accomplished trial attorney coming from the RI Department of Attorney General after spending almost 6 years as a Special Assistant Attorney General. Lauren has an overwhelming amount of experience with drunk driving cases, and has presented six continuing legal education ...

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