Boating Safety and BWI

Boating Safety and BWI

National Safe Boating Week, an annual awareness campaign organized by the National Safe Boating Council, immediately precedes Memorial Day Weekend (which usually involves many boating outings). While it can be a fun to spend the summer weekends on the Jersey Shore waters, there are quite a few safety tips and laws that you need to pay attention to.

Boating While Intoxicated
Safety Tips

A boating incident can happen in the blink of an eye, and even the strongest swimmers and athletes can become exhausted, injured or even unconscious in the water. In 2012, more than 70% of all fatal boating accident victims died from drowning. Of these, about 85% were not wearing a life jacket. It’s not enough to have a jacket, but to actually wear it. The Safe Boating Council provides some more useful tips, such as always checking local weather prior to departing and having nautical charts of the area you are boating in. Getting a vessel check can also go a long way in ensuring you’re safe on the waters. Faulty parts can render boaters stranded in the middle of large bodies of water possibly leading to more serious events such as a boat capsizing.

Boating While Intoxicated (N.J.S.A. 12:7-46)

The New Jersey law of driving while intoxicated on the road applies similarly to the rules when operating a boat. Boating while intoxicated in the Garden State comes with serious consequences. BWI and BUI are short for Boating While Intoxicated and Boating Under the Influence, respectively. Many boaters are not aware of the penalties for operating vessel under the influence; this law governs boating under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The BUI statute is similar to a motor vehicle DWI or DUI under N.J.S.A. 39: 4-50. If convicted of operating a boat under the influence of alcohol or drugs on the water, the penalties are similar to those involved if found guilty of an ordinary DWI on the road.

The Law Applies to All Water Vessels

A person can be charged with boating while intoxicated while operating any sized watercraft, from the smallest canoe to the largest yacht. People using power boats, sailboats, jet skis, kayaks, and paddle boards are all asked to recognize and heed the same safety message and follow the law.

Call a NJ DWI Lawyer if Charged with Boating While Intoxicated (BWI)

National Safe Boating Week should serve as a reminder to all of us, our friends and our families to stay safe in the water. Lifelong Ocean County resident and avid boating enthusiast, Carmine R. Villani, Esq., is one of a very few number of New Jersey criminal defense attorneys trained to operate the Alcotest® 7110 device and to perform a New Jersey specific breath test. Mr. Villani can help defend against your DWI while boating charges. Located in Point Pleasant Beach, the law firm of Villani & DeLuca is convenient to clients throughout Ocean County and Monmouth County, New Jersey. Call us today at 888-389-9533 for a free consultation.