When most people think of drunk driving, their thoughts turn to cars and trucks. That, however, isn't the only type of drunk driving that occurs. Boating under the influence and boating while intoxicated are other types of drunk driving that can lead to serious consequences. Additionally, it is against the law in New York. For people who are out on the waterways having fun, these charges can often come as a shock.
Interestingly enough, the boating while intoxicated laws mirror the DWI laws of the roadways. In New York, a person who is driving a boat can't have a blood-alcohol content of .08 percent or more if they are driving a personal boat. This also includes other forms of watercraft, such as jet skis and sailboats.
For people who are piloting commercial vessels, such as fishing vessels or barges, the blood-alcohol content threshold for criminal charges is .04 percent. That means that a commercial vessel operator can be charged with a boating under the influence charge after consuming half as much alcohol as a personal boat operator.
New York also has a lower limit for BAC level for people who aren't 21 years old yet. That limit is .02 percent for people who are operating a boat.
People who are charged with boating while intoxicated can face serious consequences. For this reason, viewing a drunk boating charge in the same way as you would view a drunk driving charge is vital. This also means that those who face these charges should make sure they have a defense that adequately presents their side of the story.
Source: FindLaw, "State Boating Under the Influence Blood Alcohol Levels" Oct. 05, 2014