Our Ocean County boating while intoxicated lawyers can help you if you have been charged with boating while under the influence.

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If your boat was boarded for reasons that you were suspected of being under the influence alcohol you probably were subjected to the “Afloat Battery of Field Sobriety Tests” which is employed by the police prior to arresting a citizen for “boating while intoxicated.”

This unusual six part battery of maneuvers, known to police as “the Afloat Battery of Field Sobriety Tests” is employed by the police prior to arresting a citizen for “boating while intoxicated.”

  • The alphabet test.
  • The “25 to 1 Count”.
  • The “Finger Count”.
  • The “Palm Pat”.
  • The “Finger to Nose”.
  • The Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus Test.
It is noteworthy that most of these subjective exercises go unrecorded, so the ability of a boater to challenge his actual performance on these exercises is severely limited. Most boating stops are not based upon probable cause that the driver committed a crime. The stops are typically for “routine” or “random” safety checks, light violations, or causing a wake in a no-wake zone.

State and federal law enforcement officials can pull a boat operator over on suspicion that the operator is driving a boat while under the influence, just like they can when you are driving a car. Law enforcement officials may also set up BUI checkpoints on the water, just like roadside DUI checkpoints, to question and check boat operators for Boating Under the Influence (‘BUI’).

Even if they don’t charge you with violating federal laws prohibiting boating while intoxicated, federal authorities like the U.S. Coast Guard can also hold and transfer you to state authorities for additional prosecution. DWI and BUI are very similar in New Jersey and controlled by N.J.S. 39: 4-50 and N.J.S. 12:7-46. If convicted of operating under the influence of alcohol or drugs on the water you will also lose your privileges to operate a motor vehicle in New Jersey. Call one of our Ocean County BWI attorneys today for a free consultation.
In New Jersey you cannot operate a vessel while under the influence of intoxicating liquor, a controlled drug or with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08% or more. Furthermore, if you are the owner of a vessel or are in control of a vessel, you cannot allow someone else who is under the influence of intoxicating liquor, a narcotic, hallucinogenic or habit-producing drug, or who has a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08% or more, to operate the vessel.

If your blood alcohol concentration is 0.08% or higher but less than 0.10%, you will face a fine of not less than $250 not more than $400. You will also lose the privilege to operate a vessel on the waters of New Jersey for a period of 12 months from the date of conviction along with the forfeiture of your driver’s license, which will be forwarded to the Director of the Motor Vehicle Commission, for a period of three (3) months.

If your blood alcohol concentration is 0.10% or higher, or if you operate a vessel while under the influence of a controlled drug, or you permit another person who is under the influence of a narcotic, hallucinogenic, or habit-producing drug to operate a vessel, you will be subject to a fi ne of not less than $300 nor more than $500. You will also lose the privilege to operate a vessel on the waters of New Jersey for a period of one (1) year from the date of conviction along with the forfeiture of your driver’s license, which will be forwarded to the Director of the Motor Vehicle Commission, for a period of seven to twelve months.

If you are found guilty of a second offense, you will face a fine of not less than $500 nor more than $1,000 as well as the performance of community service for a period of 30 days and imprisonment for a term not less than 48 hours nor more than 90 days, which shall not be suspended nor served on probation. You will also lose the privilege to operate a vessel on the waters of New Jersey for a period of two (2) years from the date of conviction along with the forfeiture of your driver’s license, which will be forwarded to the Director of the Motor Vehicle Commission, for a period of two (2) years.

If you are found guilty of a third or subsequent offense, you will face a fine of $1,000 as well as imprisonment for a term of not less than 180 days except that the court can lower this for each day that community service is performed up to 90 days. You will also lose the privilege to operate a vessel on the waters of New Jersey for a period of ten (10) years from the date of conviction along with the forfeiture of your driver’s license, which will be forwarded to the Director of the Motor Vehicle Commission, for a period of ten (10) years.
After conviction of operating under the influence, a person must also complete a boating safety course approved by the Superintendent of State Police.

In the event that a person convicted under this section is the holder of any out-of-state motor vehicle driver’s license, the court shall not collect the license but shall notify the Director of the Motor Vehicle Commission, who shall, in turn, notify appropriate officials in the licensing jurisdiction. The court shall, however, revoke the nonresident’s driving privilege to operate a motor vehicle in New Jersey .
A person who operates a power vessel or a vessel which is 12 feet or greater in length on the tidal or non-tidal waters of New Jersey shall be deemed to have given their consent to the taking of samples of their breath for the purpose of making chemical tests to determine the content of alcohol in their blood, except that the taking of samples shall be made in accordance with the provisions of this amendatory and supplementary act and at the request of the New Jersey State Police or a law enforcement officer who has reasonable grounds to believe that the person has been operating a vessel in violation of the provisions of the act.

A judge shall revoke the right of a person to operate a power vessel or a vessel which is 12 feet or greater in length, if after being arrested for a violation of operating under the influence, the person refuses to submit to the chemical test provided for in section 7 of this amendatory and supplementary act when requested to do so. The revocation to operate a vessel shall be for one year, and a motor vehicle for seven to twelve months, unless the refusal was in connection with a second offense, in which case the revocation period shall be for two years for both vessel and vehicle. If the refusal was in connection with a third or subsequent offense, the revocation shall be 10 years for both vessel and vehicle. The court shall also fine a person convicted under this section not less than $250 or more than $500. In addition to any other requirements provided by law, a person convicted under this section shall be required after conviction to complete a boating safety course from a list approved by the Superintendent of State Police prior to the restoration of the privilege to operate a vessel.

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