Boating While Intoxicated
Boating is a popular recreational pastime in Texas. The state carries rich inland waterways and a blazing hot sun that is present nearly every day. For many people, enjoying the sunshine and having some alcoholic beverages on their boat is an activity they find acceptable. Unfortunately, they disregard the consequences that may arise from drinking and boating when they come face to face with BWI offenses.
Many people are not aware that boating while intoxicated or operating a watercraft while not having the normal use of mental or physical faculties due to alcohol is an offense under Texas law. A boating while intoxicated (BWI) charge can result in several serious consequences. Regardless of whether this is your first charge, or you’ve faced BWI charges before, it’s important to make sure you obtain legal help.
Texas Boating While Intoxicated (BWI) Attorney in Brownsville
If you or someone you know is currently facing boating while intoxicated charges, seek the legal help of a Texas BWI lawyer. You have a lot at risk and need an attorney to fight on your behalf. For further information on BWI or to discuss your case, reach out to The Gracia Law Firm, P.C. to set up a consultation free of charge.
The Gracia Law Firm, P.C. represent clients in Texas and the surrounding counties including Willacy County, Cameron County and Hidalgo County. We also accept clients throughout Houston, San Benito, Weslaco, Donna and Harlingen. Call 956-504-2211 to learn your legal options for moving forward with your case.
What is Boating While Intoxicated in Texas?
According to Texas Penal Code Sec 49.06, a person commits BWI if they are intoxicated while operating a watercraft. The statute defines “watercraft” as a vessel, one or more water skis, an aquaplane, or another device used for transporting or carrying a person on water, other than a device propelled only by the current of water.
In order for an offender to acquire boating while intoxicated (BWI) charges, they must have previously operated a watercraft while impaired on drugs or alcohol. The must have previously operated a watercraft while having a blood, breath, or urine alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or greater. A conviction will also require the satisfaction of impairment, which law enforcement officers will usually detect through a test refusal, slurred speech, or unusual behavior.
Texas BWI Penalties
The penalties for a Texas BWI depend on a number of factors, including whether the operator has prior DWI or BWI convictions, was involved was involved in an accident causing “serious bodily injury” to another, or was involved in an accident-causing death.
First offense: If an individual is convicted of a first offense, they will face a Class B misdemeanor. Penalties include 72 hours to 180 days of jail time, a driver’s license suspension of 6 months to 1 year, and a fine of up to $2,000.
First offense with serious injury: If an individual is convicted of a first offense with serious injury, they will face a third-degree felony. Penalties include 2 to 10 years of jail time, a driver’s license suspension of 6 months to 1 year, and a fine of up to $10,000.
First offense with death: If an individual is convicted of a first offense with death, they will face a second-degree felony. Penalties include 2 to 20 years of prison time, a driver’s license suspension of 6 months to 1 year, and a fine of up to $10,000.
Second offense (BWI or DWI): If an individual is convicted of a second offense (BWI or DWI), they will face a Class A misdemeanor. Penalties include 30 days to 1 year of jail time, a driver’s license suspension of 6 months to 1 year, and a fine of up to $4,000.
Third offense (BWI or DWI): If an individual is convicted of a third offense (BWI or DWI), they will face a third-degree felony. Penalties include 2 to 20 years of jail time, a driver’s license suspension of 6 months to 1 year, and a fine of up to $10,000.
Texas Penal Code Sec 49.06 – Texas Penal Code Sec 49.06 lists the boating while intoxicated charge. The statute defines how the offense is established and how the penalties are calculated. Visit the webpage to read more on the statute and find important information.
Texas Department of Transportation – Visit the Texas Department of Transportation to read more about driving under the influence. The webpage lists penalties for a DWI, details on drunk driving with a child passenger, and more. Residents and visitors of Texas can also utilize the Texas Department of Transportation website to report an issue on the road or to file complaints.
Boating While Intoxicated Attorney in Brownsville, Texas
BWI law is complicated, and the penalties are serious. If you or someone you know currently facing boating while intoxicated (BWI) charges, get in contact with our experienced Texas BWI defense attorneys at The Gracia Law Firm, P.C. . The Gracia Law Firm, P.C. is committed to helping you every step of the way. Our slogan “we work hard, so you rest easy” is our way of reassuring you that we will work relentlessly to make sure your case goes smoothly.
Brownsville BWI attorney Jonathan Gracia accepts clients throughout the state of Texas, and nearby counties including Cameron County, Hidalgo County and Willacy County. He also represents client in nearby cities such as Houston, San Benito and Harlingen. Call 956-504-2211 to set up a free consultation.