Boating While Intoxicated

Texas law prohibits operating a watercraft while intoxicated by drugs or alcohol. The law defines “watercraft” as “a vessel, one or more water skis, an aquaplane, or another device used for transporting or carrying a person on water, other than a device propelled only by the current of water.” A person can be convicted of boating while intoxicated (BWI), sometimes called boating under the influence (BUI), for operating a vessel while:

  • impaired by drugs or alcohol so as not to have “normal use of mental or physical faculties,” or
  • having a blood, breath, or urine alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or greater.

The penalties for a Texas BWI depend on a number of factors, including whether the operator has prior BWI or driving while intoxicated (DWI) convictions (BWIs and DWIs both count as priors), or was involved in an accident causing “serious bodily injury” to another, or was involved in an accident causing death.

All boaters who operate a watercraft with a BAC of .08% face driver’s license suspension. The suspension period is six months or one year, depending on whether the offender had an alcohol or drug-related suspension within the past ten years.

BWI law is complicated and constantly changing. If you’ve been arrested for boating while intoxicated, call us today at 210-819-4111 we can give you the full picture of how the law applies to the facts of your case.

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