Houston Criminal Defense Attorney

BWI Lawyer Serving Houston, Texas

Boating While Intoxicated (BWI)

Driving a car while intoxicated (DWI) is not the only way to be hit with a drunk driving charge. Operating a boat while intoxicated (boating while intoxicated, or BWI) is another common cause. These can be complex cases with serious penalties, including fines and jail time. For insight regarding drunk boating charges, do not hesitate to call our firm. We at the Law Offices of Jed Silverman handle BWI cases in and around Houston and Harris County, Texas.

Often, people who are enjoying a day on the water don't realize how little alcohol it takes to impair their driving skills. A day of recreation can become a day of tragedy when a motorboat runs into a skier, a Jet Skier, a swimmer or another boater. Given that operating a boat drunk increases the chances of such an occurrence, charges of BWI are just as serious as DWI charges involving operation of a car on the streets or highways of Houston and the surrounding areas. If you've been arrested, Houston BWI lawyer Jed Silverman may be able to help.

Understanding BWI Charges

As is the case with DWI, it is illegal to operate a boat while with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08% or higher. Texas penalties for boating while intoxicated (BWI) may include the following:

  • For a first conviction: a fine up to $2,000 and/or jail time up to 180 days.
  • For a second conviction: a fine up to $4,000 and/or jail time up to one year.
  • For a third conviction: a fine up to $10,000 and/or jail time of two to 10 years.

Boaters who are found to be intoxicated in a vessel with an engine over 50 horsepower will have their boating licenses automatically suspended.

Call Our Offices at (713) 597-2221 Today

Defending a person who has been accused of operating a sailboat or motorboat while under the influence of drugs or alcohol often begins and ends with an examination of the manner of the arrest. Environmental game wardens are not usually as well trained or as experienced at handling drunk driving arrests as police officers who patrol city streets, and this may work to a defendant’s advantage.

Another common line of defense for Houston drunk boating cases has to do with the difficulty in identifying who was at the wheel of the boat if and when a collision occurred. The prosecutor must prove that the person charged was operating the boat while impaired and that the person's blood alcohol level was high enough to mean that he or she was legally intoxicated.

These and other factors may come into play in your case, and we at the Law Offices of Jed Silverman know what mistakes and rights violations to look for when building an aggressive BWI defense. To discuss your unique situation and how we can help, contact our offices today.

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