In Texas, boating while intoxicated (BWI) is a serious offense and carries
some stiff penalties. If you’ve been charged with BWI you need an
experienced attorney on your side to defend your case.
“Intoxicated” is defined the same way on water as it is on
land. A boater is intoxicated if a) he or she has a blood alcohol content
of 0.08 or higher, or b) he or she does not have the normal use of mental
or physical faculties.
Unlike in a car, however, law enforcement officials don’t need probable
cause to stop you on the water. An officer can board your boat at any
time for security reasons, or to check for an operator’s license
and flotation devices. While on board, if they suspect that you’re
intoxicated they may give you a breathalyzer test or ask you to perform
field sobriety tests. The tests can be administered either on or off the water.
The penalties for a BWI conviction are the same as those for a
DWI. You could be fined up to $2,000 or spend 180 days in jail. You’ll
have to pay a $1,000 surcharge for three years and you may have your license
When you’re charged with BWI, you need an attorney who can navigate
the legal system and prove your innocence. To set up a free consultation,
contact the Kyle Law Firm today.