Boating While Intoxicated

New York City is an island and, as such, is surrounded by water. Because of the recreational nature of boating, alcohol is often enjoyed before or during a trip on a boat. While drinking on a boat as a passenger is one thing, it is entirely different if you are the one responsible for driving the boat.

Under the Navigation Law, § 49-a (and not the vehicle and traffic law) operating a boat upon the “waters of the state” while under the influence of alcohol or drugs is prohibited. It further states that no person shall operate a boat upon the waters of the state while his or her ability to do so is impaired by the consumption of alcohol. Penalties range up to 15 days in jail and/or a fine and registration suspension. Enhanced penalties can be applied if it’s not your first time being convicted.

Under Navigation Law § 49 a subsection 2 b – no person may operate a boat while he/she has 0.10 or more in blood, breath, urine, or saliva. Violations are more severe – they are a misdemeanor and punishable by up to 90 days in jail and/or a fine and registration suspension.

Under Navigation law § 49-a subsection 2 (c) – no person shall operate a public (commercial purposes) boat while he has 0.04 or more alcohol in blood, breath, urine, or saliva. This is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 90 days in jail and/or a fine and registration suspension.

Under Navigation Law § 49-a subsection 2(e) – no person shall operate a boat while his/her ability to do so is impaired by the use of a drug. This is punishable by a misdemeanor and up to 90 days in jail and/or a fine and registration suspension.

If you or a loved one has been charged with boating while intoxicated, contact us for a consultation (212) 619-3900.

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