People who operate a watercraft while intoxicated can be charged with a BWI. Boating while intoxicated is just a DWI but for watercraft such as boats. That means that a BWI offense is a Class B misdemeanor, which means that you are likely to be confined for not less than 72 hours.
There are other serious penalties for a BWI charge. You need an experienced BWI lawyer if you want the charges to be dropped or reduced.
Operate Your Watercraft Responsibly In Texas
Since a BWI charge is as serious as a DWI charge, everyone that operates a watercraft must be a responsible captain. Having fun on Texas waters is okay but overindulging in alcohol or other substances can lead to trouble with the law. People operating watercraft and their passengers need to wear a life vest and take other safety precautions.
This applies to everyone in Houston, Galveston Bay, Conroe, and Livingstone. Remember that a BWI can negatively impact your personal and professional reputation.
Avoid Getting Arrested For BWI
Law enforcement patrol Texas waters just like they do roadways. So, expect them to board your craft for safety inspections. During a safety inspection, officers are interested in determining whether you are in the right state of mind for operating a watercraft. Any smell of alcohol in your breath can lead to you getting arrested and taken back to the shore.
After about 30 minutes on the shore, the officers will take you through some tests. They will ask you to stand on one leg, walk in a straight line, and do other tests. If they think you don’t have a normal balance, they will arrest you for BWI.
Penalties For A BWI
People arrested for a BWI face the following penalties if convicted:
- A fine not exceeding $2,000
- A jail time of 3 days to 180 days
- A license suspension of 90 days to one year
But people with a BAC of 0.15 or higher face harsher penalties because that would be a Class A misdemeanor. In this situation, the maximum fine is $4,000 and the minimum jail time is 1 year.
How A BWI Lawyer In Texas Can Help You
In a BWI case, your lawyer’s main goals are to either have the charge dismissed or to reduce the charges. This can be achieved by challenging the authenticity of the breath or blood test that was used to measure your blood alcohol content. Most of the time these tests are not accurate.
Your lawyer can also try to convince the court that the evidence against you was handled improperly or your rights were violated during your arrest. There are several other strategies that your lawyer can use to help you win your case.
BWI laws are very complex meaning that you need a lawyer to help you navigate these laws. Talking to a lawyer can give you peace of mind because you will get to know the options available to you and whether the prosecution has a strong or weak case against you.