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Why you should not drink while operating a boat

On Behalf of | Nov 7, 2022 | Criminal Defense |

You might already be aware that you should not drive while intoxicated. But what if you are operating a boat with your friends and you want to knock back a few? Is it really as bad as drunk driving?

You might think that you have more control over a boat than a car. Especially if you are in a waterway where there are not many obstacles, drinking might not seem like a big deal. However, boating while intoxicated could lead to serious repercussions.

Legal requirements

If you operate a personal watercraft or motorboat in Indiana, you must agree to an alcohol test whenever a law enforcement officer requests it. It is illegal to operate one of these boats with a blood alcohol level that is .08% or more. You also cannot let a friend take over your boat if he or she has been drinking.

Charges and penalties

Boating while intoxicated is a Class C misdemeanor. Not only could you lose your boating privileges for up to two years, but you could also lose your driving privileges. And if you face another conviction less than five years later, you could wind up with jail time and hefty fines. You could also have a felony on your hands if you cause a boating accident that results in death or serious injury.

It may be tempting to enjoy some drinks with your friends on your boat, but it is not worth it when you consider the potential consequences. For the sake of safety, it is better to wait until you get back to your base before you start drinking.