“Boating While Intoxicated” (BWI) is a serious offense in New Jersey, and the State’s courts treat it in much the same way as a DWI. In fact, the Motor Vehicle Commission’s official website makes no distinction between the offenses at all.
As of July 2, 2004, New Jersey’s Boating While Intoxicated Statute (N.J.S.A. 12:7-46) conforms to the same definitions and penalties as the State’s drunk driving laws.
Boating while intoxicated is now a per se offense, just like DWI. If you operate a water vessel with a BAC of 0.08% or greater, you can be charged with BUI. It is also an offense to be “under the influence of alcohol or drugs” while operating a vessel.
For the State to convict you, they need to prove three things:
Officers will employ the same methods of determining intoxication as they would if you were driving, including breath, blood and urine tests. But just as in DWI cases, these tests are notoriously inaccurate, and subject to numerous errors. There are ways to beat this charge. With an experienced BWI lawyer, you can challenge the State and secure your rights.
Thinking of pleading guilty? If you are convicted of Boating While Intoxicated, you face:
But the penalties become more severe after multiple offenses:
Refusal to submit to a breath test is also a serious offense in this situation, and will result in a period of suspension of both boating and driving privileges.
Notably, there are no school zone penalties or surcharges associated with this violation.
Charged with BUI? It’s no laughing matter. The penalties are severe, and can have a lasting impact on your family and livelihood.
But like a DWI, there are many defenses, and conviction is anything but assured. You need an aggressive defense attorney, one with years of experience and an unmatched track record. You need a lawyer who will protect your interests no matter the circumstances. You need Levow DWI Law.
Contact our expert BWI defense team today for a free consultation. Call 1-877-735-2288 or fill out our contact form.