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Can you get a DWI while boating in Texas?

by | Aug 4, 2021 | DWI Defense

Texas takes alcohol-related offenses seriously, which is why you should understand when you can or cannot drink alcohol while operating a vehicle. In Texas, a person is guilty of boating while intoxicated if they are intoxicated when they’re driving the watercraft.

Boating while intoxicated, also known as a “BWI” is a class B misdemeanor offense. With some exceptions, those who commit this crime can be held by the police for up to 72 hours.

Can you get a BWI on a canoe?

When you’re on a boat that does not have a motor, such as a canoe or kayak, you can avoid a BWI. BWIs in Texas apply to cases involving watercraft that are propelled by motors or anything other than the current.

What are the penalties for boating while intoxicated?

If you are stopped for boating while intoxicated, you could face some significant penalties. This is a class B misdemeanor, so that in itself could impact your life negatively. Sometimes, employers terminate employees convicted of crimes, or you could have your license suspended. Yes, even though you’re on the water, your driver’s license can still be at risk.

Fines may be up to $2,000, and you could spend three days (72 hours) or longer in jail. If you hurt or killed another person while intoxicated, then you could face more significant penalties.

For the most part, the laws that apply to a DWI are the same as those that apply to a BWI. You will still face harsh financial penalties and face time in jail. You could lose your license and have your job or career threatened. If you’re in school, your scholarships or financial aid could be at risk, or you may be suspended or expelled.

While boaters can drink on the water, the driver cannot. If you are boating while intoxicated and get caught, you could face serious repercussions. It’s a smart choice to learn more about your legal rights and how you can defend yourself if you are at risk of getting a BWI conviction. A strong defense can help your case and may help you minimize any penalties you could face.