Boating Under the Influence
Trust Schalk, Ciaccio & Kahn for Legal Help
At Schalk, Ciaccio & Kahn, we put our extensive legal expertise and services into every client’s case in Nassau County and Long Island, NY. Getting boating while the intoxicated lawyer is essential if you’ve been caught operating a boat while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The consequences for boating while intoxicated (BWI) can be substantial, including possible financial penalties and even jail time. Our attorneys have ample practice handling BWI charges against clients. The legal details and ramifications surrounding this offense might seem confusing, or you might feel you’ve been wrongly accused and charged with it. Let us provide professional counsel and representation to win you the best possible outcome. We’ve described some essential information about BWIs for you to consider.
Where do BWI Arrests Happen?
The police may stop you while you’re on the water or when you’re heading back to the marina. If you’ve had a few drinks or partaken in drugs, and they’ve impaired your ability, the police can arrest you and charge you with BWI. A BWAI Alcohol applies to individuals under the influence of alcohol, while a BWAI Drugs applies to those impaired by drugs. If you get arrested for boating under the influence, you can reach out to Schalk, Ciaccio & Kahn for legal assistance.
Penalties for Boating Under the Influence
A BWAI Alcohol first offense is a violation and not a crime, and fines for this offense range between $300 and $500 with a possible 15-day jail sentence. Your second offense would be a misdemeanor with up to a 30 30-day jail sentence and increased fines. A third offense includes more fines and jail time. Additionally, authorities can suspend your privilege to drive a boat for six months or longer for any BWAI Alcohol charge. Your first offense for BWAI Drugs, BWI, or BWI Per Se are misdemeanors with up to 364 days in jail as punishment. You may also need to pay $500 to $1,000 fines and deal with a boat operating privileges suspension. Getting a second offense within 10 years of the first one is a class E felony, resulting in hefty fines and up to four years in prison. A third offense within a decade raises the charge to a Class D felony with up to a seven-year prison sentence.
FAQs About Boating While Intoxicated
Schalk, Ciaccio & Kahn understands the stress and burdens a BWI can put on a person. It can help ease your worries and ensure you follow the law if you know more about this offense. We’ve answered some of our clients’ most frequently asked questions about boating while intoxicated. Our lawyers can give you a more in-depth explanation during a consultation. The potential severity of a BWI goes beyond fines and a criminal record. Operating a boat under the influence of drugs or alcohol can result in property damage, injury, or death. Please read below to learn more about a BWI’s legal consequences:
What Are the Consequences If I Injure Someone with a BWI?
If you injure someone and the police charge you with a BWI, they may charge you with assault. The charge’s seriousness depends on factors like the circumstances of the arrest and how significant the injuries are. You should always get in touch with a criminal defense lawyer specializing in BWI offenses if you injure a person while driving a boat under the influence.
At What Blood Alcohol Level Can I Be Charged With BWI?
While you should avoid operating a boat or any vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, the police can charge you with this offense when you meet a minimum blood alcohol level. TheThe police consider it evidence if your blood alcohol level is at .06 or .07, qualifying you as impaired by alcohol consumption.
What If I Am Charged With a Second BWAI Charge?
Receiving a BWAI charge after having a previous BWAI within the last five years can lead to up to a 30-day jail term and a fine as high as $750. Additionally, a court can suspend your vessel registration for as long as 12 months, and you could face an additional NYS DMV driver assessment penalty.
What If I Drive a Boat with a Suspended Boating License?
You will be charged with operating with a suspended license (a non-criminal offense) if the police catch you driving a boat after your license was suspended due to a BWI conviction. This offense can result in up to 90 days of incarceration and a $750 fine.
What Are the Penalties for Killing Someone While BWI?
Driving a boat under the influence of drugs or alcohol can lead to causing another person’s death, resulting in police charging you with manslaughter in the 2nd degree, a class C felony. You can face five to 15 years in prison if you’re convicted. The police may also charge you with criminally negligent homicide, an E felony, resulting in up to four years in prison. Your case and penalties depend on your crash’s facts and circumstances. Schalk, Ciaccio & Kahn’s attorneys will discuss your case in greater detail to determine if the evidence is sufficient to support the charges.
What If I Refuse to Take a Breath Test While Boating?
Refusing to take a breath test will initially suspend your boating license for 15 while a hearing takes place to determine if you refused a breath test. A judge will answer four questions, and they will suspend your boating license for six months if they answer yes to all four questions. The judge may revoke your boating license for one year if you’ve previously refused a breath test or have been previously convicted of BWAI or BWI. Additionally, the court will require you to pay a $200 civil penalty for the first occurrence or $500 if you have a prior conviction or suspension. The judge will determine the following at a hearing:
- Did the officer have reasonable cause to believe you were under the influence of alcohol?
- Did the officer make a lawful arrest?
- Was a sufficient warning given before the refusal?
- Did you refuse?
What If I Am Charged With Boating Under Drug Influence a Second Time?
A second BWAI Drugs conviction within 10 years of your first conviction is a class E felony. Punishment can include up to four years’ imprisonment, a maximum $5,000 fine, and a vessel registration suspension. The boater will also need to complete a boating safety course, and they will receive a driver assessment penalty from the NYS DMV.
How Can They Prove I Was Drunk If There Was No Breath Test?
The law doesn’t require physical or chemical tests to prove a person’s intoxication. Instead, a judge, prosecutor, jury, and police officer can consider a case’s surrounding facts and circumstances. Some factors considered include the defendant’s physical appearance and condition, balance, coordination, manner of speech, alcohol odor presence or absence, how they operated the boat, and an accident’s circumstances.
Contact Us for a Free Consultation in Long Island, NY
Don’t hesitate to reach out to Schalk, Ciaccio & Kahn for legal help if you get charged with BWI in Long Island and Nassau County, NY. We offer extensive experience and impressive expertise in boating with intoxicated and work to win you the best possible outcome in your case. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and learn more about our exceptional legal services.