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If someone stops your boat as being suspect under the influence of alcohol, then you may face few tests. You will go through the “Afloat Battery of Field Sobriety Tests”.  Actually police take these tests prior to arresting a citizen for “boating while intoxicated.” If you are facing these tests, then call a BWI attorney right now.
This unusual six part battery of maneuvers, known to police as “the Afloat Battery of Field Sobriety Tests”. Below are the tests that police take 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 important to note that most of these subjective exercises are not recorded. Therefore the ability of a boater to challenge his actual performance on these exercises is limited. Police don’t always stop your boat due to suspicion of criminal activity or waterway violations. Generally, the stops are for “routine” or “random” safety checks. In addition it includes light violations, or causing a wake in a no-wake zone.
State and federal law enforcement officials can consider you as a suspect of BWI. They can arrest you if they have probable cause to do so. It is just like when you drive a car on road. They may also set up BUI checkpoints on the water, just like roadside DUI checkpoints. Basically, it is for questioning and to check boat operators for Boating Under the Influence.

It may be possible they don’t charge you with violating federal laws prohibiting BWI. However, 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. If convicted, then you may lose your privileges to operate a boat or 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 liquor, or blood alcohol concentration of 0.08% or more. Further, if you are the owner of a vessel, then you cannot allow someone who has a BAC of 0.08% or more, to operate the vessel.

Penalties in BWI Cases

In BWI case, If your BAC 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. In addition it includes forfeiture of your driver’s license. The official will forward your license to the Director of the Motor Vehicle Commission for 3 months suspension.

BWI

If your BAC is 0.10% or higher at the time of operating a vessel, you will face fine of not less than $300 not more than $500. You will also lose the privilege to operate a vessel on the waters of New Jersey for a period of 1 year. Further it leads to forfeiture of your driver’s license and forward it to the Director of the Motor Vehicle Commission, for a suspension of seven to twelve months.

Second Offense

If you are found guilty of a second offense, you will face a fine of not less than $500 nor more than $1,000. In addition, it includes performance of community service for 30 days and imprisonment for not less than 48 hours nor more than 90 days. You will also lose the privilege to operate a vessel in New Jersey for a period of 2 years. It will cause forfeiture of your driver’s license and carries with it a suspension of your driver’s license by the Director of the Motor Vehicle Commission, for a period of 2 years.

Third Offense

If you are found guilty of a third offense, you will face a fine of $1,000 as well as imprisonment for a term of not less than 180 days. You will also lose the privilege to operate a vessel in New Jersey for a period of 10 years. It will result in a suspension/forfeiture of your driver’s license for a period of 10 years.
After conviction, a person must also complete a boating safety course. The Superintendent of State Police approve this course.

Penalties of BWI for operating Power Vessels

A person who operates a vessel which is 12 feet or greater in length need to give samples of their breath. It is for the purpose of making chemical tests to determine the content of alcohol in their blood. The officers take samples as per provisions of the supplementary act. You must submit to a breathalyzer at the request of the New Jersey State Police or law enforcement officer.

Sometimes a person refuses to submit samples for the chemical test as per section 7 of this amendatory and supplementary act. If you refuse a Judge must revoke the right of a person to operate a vessel of 12 feet or greater in length. The revocation to operate a vessel shall be for one year and a motor vehicle for seven to twelve months. This penalty is for first offense. For subsequent offenses, the penalties are different.

A BWI attorney can help you deal with a case of boating while intoxicated. Contact us today or visit our office. Call us for immediate help.