If you are an avid fan of the outdoors or of the water, then one thing you should never miss when visiting Texas is its beautiful lakes. You can always take time to spend a relaxing day out in the lake or the ocean. You can even hold your party in a sailboat. And out in the water, whether it be the lake or the sea, there are a variety of activities you can surely enjoy with your friends and loved ones.
However, you also need to know that Texas is very strict when it comes to implementing its laws. So, if you are planning on having a party or drinking aboard, you have to familiarize yourself first with the boating while intoxicated Texas law. If it is your first time to hear of it, yes it does exist, and the gravity of punishment is not light either.
What is BWI?
Boating While Intoxicated, more commonly known as BWI is somewhat similar to DWI, just that it involves water vehicles. The law prohibits anyone from operating any watercraft when under the influence of either drugs or alcohol. As defined in the law, a craft includes any boat, aquaplane, water ski and another water vessel that is used to transport people by water. If you are suspected of being under the influence of alcohol, the authorities have the right to ask you for a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) test. The acceptable BAC is 0.08 percent and below. If you exceed the limit, they have the right to arrest you and you can possible charged for BWI.
First Offense BWI
On your first charge for BWI, you will get sentenced for class B misdemeanor. You will spend time in jail for about 72 hours to 180 days and pay a fine of $2,000 depending on the gravity of your offense. However, if your drunkenness caused harm to anyone, you may get charged for a third-degree felony, and your sentence will be two to ten years in prison plus a penalty of up to $10,000. Additionally, if death resulted in your offense, you will be charged for a third-degree felony, and the sentence is also high. The verdict is two to twenty years in jail plus penalties of no more than $10,000.
Second Offense BWI
You have to remember that BWI and DWI are closely related. Even if it is your first time to get arrested for BWI if you have a DWI prior, then the charge will get counted as your second offense. The same law applies to DWI. The battery is calculated as a class A misdemeanor. It will come with jail time of thirty days up to one year plus a fine of no more than $4,000.
Third Offense BWI
Your third offense for either BWI or DWI is the same. They will count your priors on both. The battery is calculated as a third-degree felony. The penalty is up to $10,000 plus two to ten years in jail.
When you get in trouble with either BWI or DWI in Texas, it is best to seek assistance immediately. Visit our law firm or call us for consultation and services.