Most residents do not associate DUI charges (alcohol or drug related) with boating – but officials throughout Alabama are warning that the legal ramifications of boating under the influence can be just as severe as traditional DUI. Authorities are reminding residents that operating any kind of vessel – including boats, water skis, and other sports vehicles – while intoxicated, can lead to very serious legal consequences. This information is particularly relevant in light of the upcoming summer holidays. As boaters take to the water after each Memorial Day, officers say they have increased their awareness for intoxicated drivers.
In Alabama – boaters are subject to the same rules as drivers of other vehicles. If you’re caught operating a motor vehicle with a BAC (blood alcohol content) level higher than 0.08% – you will be charged with DUI. Even a first offense can yield significant DUI penalties – including jail time and up to $2,100 in fines. Second offenses prompt mandatory license revocation, increased financial penalties, and required community service. Additionally, if there is a child under the age of 14 on your vessel at the time of incident – you could be subjected to further penalties.
Recreational boating is generally associated with a more relaxed atmosphere. Despite this cultural standard – authorities say boaters should remember that sun and wind exposure can increase the speed of intoxication – resulting in DUI. Water safety is always paramount during summer months and part of responsible boating is the decision to remain sober.
To learn more about DUI – visit our DUI FAQ page
Have you been accused of boating related DUI? Schedule a free consultation with a DUI lawyer from our team. We have decades of experience defending DUI cases (alcohol and drug related) in Huntsville, Athens, Madison, Decatur, and surrounding North Alabama communities. Meet with a lawyer today, for free – by calling (256) 539-4464 or completing a case evaluation form online.
Source: Same rules: Authorities warn boaters of drinking, boating Sarah Cook, May. 25, 2013
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