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Indiana Boating While Intoxicated

Monday, May 2, 2022

Indiana Boating while Intoxicated:

Indiana law prohibits operating a motorboat or personal water craft (PWC) while intoxicated by drugs or alcohol. A person can be convicted of boating while intoxicated (BWI) for operating a motorboat or PWC while:

  • under the influence of drugs, alcohol, or any other intoxicating substance “so that there is an impaired condition of thought and action and the loss of normal control of an individual’s faculties”
  • having a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or greater, or
  • having any amount of a controlled substance in the body.

Many of the same rules that apply to DUI/OVWI/OWI also apply to BWI. In a BWI or BUI offense, a person is considered to be intoxicated if he or she has a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher. However, if you have a BAC level that is below the legal limit, you may still be faced with BWI charges if it can be shown that you were intoxicated at the lower BAC level.

By operating a motorboat or PWC on Indiana waters, you have given implied consented to be tested for alcohol or drugs if requested by a law enforcement official. If you refuse to be tested, you will be subject to arrest and punishment consistent with the penalties and lose your privilege to operate a motorboat, PWC, or a motor vehicle.

Penalties for BWI/BUI:

The consequences of an Indiana BWI depend on the circumstances of the case. But generally, the consequences are:

  • First offense. Most first-offense BUIs are class C misdemeanors and carry up to 60 days in jail and a maximum of $500 in fines. In addition, if this is your first offense or the first in 10 years, you may lose all your driving privileges (motorboat and motor vehicle) for at least 90 days and up to two years.
  • Repeat offense.When a BUI offender has at least one prior BUI conviction, the judge generally can sentence the current BUI as a class A misdemeanor or level 6 felony. Class A misdemeanors carry up to a year in jail and a maximum of $5,000 in fines. And level 6 felonies carry between six months and two and one-half years in jail and up to $10,000 in fines. For a second conviction within five years, you may be fined and jailed and lose the privilege to operate a vehicle, motorboat, or PWC for one to two years. More severe penalties exist for additional convictions.
  • BWI involving serious injury. Where a BWI involves serious bodily injury to another, the judge can sentence the offense as a class A misdemeanor or level 6 felony (see “repeat offense” above).
  • BWI involving death. A BWI involving death to another person is a level 5 felony and generally carries between one and six years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines.

Obtain Legal Representation:

 If you are charged with and Indiana boating while intoxicated, it is important to seek experienced criminal attorney. A conviction for boating while intoxicated can have both immediate and long term consequences. If so, our criminal defense attorneys at Vanderpool Law Firm, PC can provide the tough legal representation you need. We have assisted numerous clients in Kosciusko, Wabash and several other counties. Give us a call or use our contact us form for a consultation today!