Facing charges of Boating While Under the Influence? Call the experienced DUI Lawyers at LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. to protect and fight for your rights.

By May 29, 2014 July 5th, 2019 blog post

Operating a Boat while Under the Influence

As the weather in Michigan begins to get warmer, more and more boaters will be heading to the lakes to enjoy the beautiful summer weather.   Michigan’s many lakes and waterways are popular travel spots for avid boaters and their families.  There is nothing more relaxing and enjoyable than a day on the lake.  Before you head out on the water, you should be aware of the laws regarding boating and alcohol.

BAC Limit for Boating is .10

Michigan law prohibits anyone from boating while under the influence of alcohol.  It is also unlawful for the owner of a vessel to allow anyone else to operate their vessel if that person is under the influence of alcohol.  The legal blood alcohol content (BAC) for operating a motor vehicle in the State of Michigan is .08.  The BAC for operating a boat is .10.  If you are convicted of boating under the influence, the penalties are a misdemeanor conviction along with various fines and costs.  A charge within 10 years of two prior OWI or DUI cases, you may be charged with a felony.  Causing a death while operating a vessel while under the influence of alcohol could possibly result in a homicide charge.  Under any of these circumstances, you will want to seek a Michigan DUI Lawyer.

You should be aware that if your BAC is under .10, you still may be charged with Operating a Boat While Impaired which is still a very serious misdemeanor with virtually identical penalties as Operating a Boat While Intoxicated.

Can you go to jail for Operating a Boat While Intoxicated?

Yes.  Many judges who take it easy on motor vehicle drivers who have a first offense do not take such a liberal approach with boaters.  Although jail is not mandatory, judges frequently will consider jail time for these offenses.  An experienced OWI Defense Attorney will know how to use the facts of the case, the law, and his client’s personal circumstances to craft a favorable argument for the charges to be reduced and for a lenient sentence. Don’t trust your fate to the lowest bidder when it comes to your legal representation.  Presuming you care about your freedom, liberty, reputation, employment, education, professional license, and/or driver’s license, you will want the best lawyer possible standing at your side when you go to court.  Contrary to popular belief, the quality, reputation and experience of a defense attorney frequently is the determining factor in achieving a favorable plea bargain, sentence, or a dismissal.

Experienced OWI Defense Attorneys

If you or a loved one is facing a charge of boating while intoxicated, you should seek an experienced Michigan DUI Lawyer.  The attorneys you choose to represent you in court, defend your rights, and relentlessly pursue your case could be the difference between jail time and getting on with your life.  Contact the attorneys at LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. at (248) 263-6800 for a free consultation or fill out a Request for Assistance Form.