Though it is overlooked at times, boating while intoxicated is a crime that Texas citizens need to be aware of. Many Texans and Americans only think of automobiles when they are studying or thinking about crimes related to DWI or DUI. Quite a few overlook the fact that many of these laws also pertain to boating. In the state of Texas, it is illegal to operate a boating device under the influence of alcohol.
Many Texans enjoy using one of our many local lakes to go boating on the weekend. This is a common activity amongst family and friends, and many boating adventures involve the consumption of alcohol. Because of this, Texans who plan on going boating need to educate themselves on the laws surrounding BWI.
Boating while intoxicated is a crime that can have just as much of an impact on your record as a more traditional crime such as DWI. Texas law enforcement officials patrol lakes and bodies of water just as much as they watch roadways and highways. If they suspect you are operating your boating device while under the influence of an alcoholic beverage, they will not hesitate to conduct an investigation in an attempt to arrest and charge you for this crime.
If you have been accused of or charged with boating while intoxicated, you will need a criminal defense attorney. Some of the laws surrounding this crime can be extremely confusing for the typical individual to understand. Because of this, you may end up self-sabotaging your case if you choose to represent yourself or place your trust in the hands of a public defender. Give yourself the best chance at a favorable outcome by hiring Richard C. McConathy. McConathy and his legal team of professionals have years of experience helping citizens just like you, and we are confident in our ability to bring out desirable outcomes in a court of law whenever we are called upon. For more information on how we can assist you with your case, don’t hesitate to call us at 817-422-5350 to speak to an expert about how you can receive a free consultation from us.
● Definition of Boating While Intoxicated
● Penalties for Boating While Intoxicated
● Boating While Intoxicated Resources Tarrant County, Texas
According to Texas Penal Code § 49.06, the crime of boating while intoxicated takes place when is individual is found operating a piece of watercraft while they are intoxicated or under the influence of alcohol. The penal code defines “watercraft” as an aquaplane, vessel, water ski, or any other device that is primarily used for the purpose of transporting or carrying an individual while they are located directly on top of a body of water.
Just like its DWI counterpart, if a BWI results in any sort of bodily injury or death to another person, the alleged offender may be faced with intoxication assault or manslaughter charges. Section 49.07 of the Texas Penal Code states that intoxication assault takes place when an individual causes serious bodily injury to another person while operating a piece of watercraft, aircraft, motor vehicle, or amusement ride while experiencing intoxication. Section 49.08 of the Texas Penal Code states that intoxication manslaughter occurs when a person mistakenly causes the death of another individual while operating watercraft, aircraft, amusement ride, or motor vehicle during a period of intoxication.
According to section 49.06 of the Texas Penal Code, DWI charges are typically classified as a Class B misdemeanor and come with a minimum confinement time of 72 hours. Texas Penal Code Section 12.22 provides information about the penalties of a BWI conviction. If an individual is convicted of this crime, they may face up to 180 days behind bars in addition to a fine that is not allowed to exceed $2,000. They may also be subject to collateral consequences such as license suspension.
Intoxication assault and manslaughter convictions will carry much different penalties, though. If convicted of intoxication assault, an individual will have a third-degree felony on their criminal record in addition to a prison sentence that could last up to 10 years, and a court-ordered fine that could be as expensive as $10,000. If an individual is convicted of intoxication manslaughter, they will have to brace themselves for having a second-degree felony on their criminal record. In addition to this, they will have to deal with consequences such as a maximum prison sentence of 20 years in addition to a fine that could end up being as expensive as $10,000.
Safety Requirement for Vessels - This link takes you to the official website of Texas Parks & Wildlife, where you can learn more about the requirements for water vessels in the state of Texas. Here, you can learn more about the standards that must be met while operating a boat on a body of water in the Lone Star State. This link also contains information about required safety equipment such as floatation devices, lights, and personal watercraft mechanisms.
Texas Penal Code: Chapter 49 - This link takes you to the official website of the Texas Penal Code. This page specifically contains Chapter 49 of the penal code, where you can learn more about the penalties and punishments of driving and boating while intoxicated. Boating is an extremely common hobby. It provides Texans with some much-needed relaxation from the daily rat race and the Texas heat that plagues all of us during the summer. However, individuals have the responsibility of making sure they are operating their watercraft safely, and with a sober mind.
Boating is an extremely common hobby. It provides Texans with some much-needed relaxation from the daily rat race and the Texas heat that plagues all of us during the summer. However, individuals have the responsibility of making sure they are operating their watercraft safely, and with a sober mind.
If you have been charged with BWI, do not panic. These charges should be taken seriously, but there is no reason to worry incessantly as long as you have a criminal defense attorney by your side. If you are looking for a legal expert to help you with your problems, you can count on The Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy to be there when you need us the most. Criminal defense lawyer Richard C. McConathy has multiple years of experience helping Texans with their charges, and our legal team is confident in our ability to bring about a favorable outcome to the clients who entrust us with their legal matters. For more information on how we can possibly be of assistance, make sure you call us today at 817-422-5350 to schedule a free consultation with our team.