October 3, 2008, Newsletter Issue #135: Steep Fines For Boating While Intoxicated

Tip of the Week

Many people overlook the fact that DUI laws apply to the operation of any motor vehicle, not just cars, trucks, or motorcycles. Boating activities often involve alcohol; while you may not see a police boat on the side of the river doing traffic stops, you can indeed be ticketed or arrested for boating while intoxicated.

The penalties for boating under the influence of alcohol can be just as steep as drunk driving. Fines can range from five 500 to 7,500 dollars for a conviction. Jail time can be set for as long as two years. The boat operator also has his or her boat license suspended for 12 months. You can be detained by any waterway authority including the Coast Guard.

Many states also feature additional penalties. California boating under the influence laws, for example, feature the option to revoke driving licenses in addition to boat permits in such cases. State and local authorities are quite serious about stopping the combination of boating and alcohol.

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