People know that it’s illegal to drink and drive. However, many find out after it’s too late that it is also illegal to drive a boat while intoxicated. They may be out taking the boat on Lake Georgetown, fishing in the San Gabriel River, or Jet Skiing in Belton Lake after a few beers, and see the lights of law enforcement and find yourself behind bars. Like a DWI, a BWI carries serious penalties.
Georgetown Boating While Intoxicated Lawyer
Georgetown boating while intoxicated lawyer Michael J. Price represents those accused of BWI in Central Texas. They will put their combined experience and knowledge to work for you, examining the allegations and looking for mistakes in the gathering of evidence, seeking to find ways how your charges might be reduced or dismissed.
Call Price & Twine, PLLC today at (512) 354-1880 to discuss your BWI charge. Michael J. Price can defend you if charged with Boating While Intoxicated in the waters of Bell County or Williamson County, including on Lake Georgetown, the San Gabriel River, Temples Lake, Stillhouse Hollow Lake, Belton Lake or any other body of water.
Boating While Intoxicated Law in Texas
In Texas, it is illegal to operate a watercraft while intoxicated. Intoxicated means under the influence of alcohol or drugs to the extent it makes the driver less safe. If your blood alcohol content is .08 or higher, you are presumed, under the law, to be intoxicated. A watercraft, under Texas law, includes a vessel, water ski, aquaplane, or any other device used for transporting or carrying people on the water that is propelled by more than the current. This includes:
- A speedboat.
- A fishing boat.
- A yacht.
- A skiff.
- A catamaran.
- A sailboat.
- A rowboat.
- A canoe.
- A Jet Ski.
- A raft.
- A paddleboat.
In fact, it includes most watercraft, with the exception of floating devices, like inner tubes.
If a person is severely injured while you are accused of drunk boating, you may face charges of intoxication assault. Intoxication assault means that while operating a watercraft while intoxicated, by reason of intoxication another suffers serious injury.
This includes a person who was on the boat at the time of the alleged intoxication. So, if someone falls off your boat and hits his or her head on an underwater rock and suffers severe head injuries, you could face charges of intoxication assault. If that person drowns, the charges may be upgraded to intoxication manslaughter.
Penalties for BWI in Lake Georgetown
If convicted of BWI, you will be punished for a Class B misdemeanor, which carries penalties of up to 180 days in jail and a fine up to $2,000. There may be other punishments, such as a 72-hour minimum confinement. If you face charges of intoxication assault, it is a third-degree felony, with a prison sentence up to 10 years and a fine up to $10,000. Intoxication manslaughter is a second-degree felony, punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.
Possible Defense to Belton Lake BWI
Just like with a DUI or DWI, you may refuse to take a field sobriety or breathalyzer test. If you do take the test, the results can be challenged by your Georgetown DWI lawyer. Police may also try to use circumstantial evidence, like the fact that empty beer cans were in your boat or you were very red in the face, to prove intoxication. The beer cans could have belonged to people in your party, and you could have been red from sunburn.
Price & Twine, PLLC | Bell County BWI Attorneys
If you’re accused of BWI (also called BUI in other states) on any of the waters in Williamson County or Bell County, Georgetown criminal defense lawyer Michael J. Price can help you fight the charges. Call Price & Twine, PLLC today at (512) 354-1880 to schedule a free, confidential consultation.