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scifisher

DUIs in a Boat?

15 posts in this topic

Hi Everybody

I was fishing the Pike Chain on Friday and I noticed that many of the pontoons cruising around were being driven by people who seemed to be obviously intoxicated. Also, I noticed that the passengers on board were also clearly drinking. I don't necessarily have a problem with the latter, but the former bothers me a bit...because it can be dangerous. So, my question is this, can you get a DUI for driving a boat under the influence of alcohol? I've heard that people have received them for driving snowmobiles, ATVs and even Bicycles, so why not boats?

scifisher

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As a secondary question, are there such a thing as open bottle laws for boats?

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Yes you can get one it is called boating while intoxicated. BWI. Not sure about the drinking in the boat thing. I hope its not illegal to drink in a boat. I do it on occasion. Nothing better than having a cold when while reeling in a big one. LoL

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There is no open bottle law pertaining to boating and it's not illegal to consume alcohol in a boat either. However BWI is illegal and a conviction can result in the forfeiture of the craft. I got this info from the local news and trust it's accurate.

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In order to have your boat or vehicle forfeited it needs to be and 2nd or 1st Degree DWI. There is four levels of DWI. 4th is your first one and its a misdemeanor unless your are over a .20 or have a child with you. 3rd and 2nd are gross misdemeanor's and 1st Degree is a felony.

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As far as I know there is such a thing as a BWI and it will go on your driving record[i am no lawyer or law officer so I could be wrong]. Basically don't get drunk and be an (Contact Us Please) in your boat. If you are drunk and doing something dumb they can and will get you, as they should. Not only are you at risk of loosing your own life and property, you are putting others at risk as well.

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As I understand it, if you receive a BWI, it will go on your driving record, the same as if you get one with a car or a snowmobile, as they are all motorized vehicles!!

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As far as I know it does go on your record and it is like a dui and you can lose the watercraft. As for sipping on a cold one it is not illegal. I have been told by the Coast Guard on a routine check as we had 2 cases laying in the front of the boat, that it is ok for the operator to drink as long as he/she is not over the limit. And as for anyone else in the boat there is no limit as long as the operator is under the legal limit.

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I thought it counts the same as a DUI also. So if you got 1 DUI boating and 2 DUI's driving, you have a total of 3 DUI's and one heck of a laywers bill.

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I do not drink in the boat anymore. Well, wait, I do do Mountain Dew. I just cannnt see taking that chance of hitting someone in the water or hurting myself or others in my boat.

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Pikester,

Correct, also possibly some jail time!!! frown.giffrown.giffrown.gif

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I just talked with an attorney today about this type of stuff. You can get a DWI in a vehicle, boat, cycle, golfcart, lawnmower and some lawmakers are even trying to include bicycles. Imagine the scene on a lawnmower! Anyway, take it easy wherever you are imbibing. It could make for an awful night with the authorities. frown.gif

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Imagine the scene on a lawnmower!

Ya, you can thank Goerge Jones for the that.

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Growing up in Milwaukee, I always heard stories about guys on the 10th, 12th, and even 15th DUI's. One guy who was in that range actually got one on his bicycle. He thought he was being clever by not driving, but ended up biking through a busy sidewalk and got nabbed again.

They don't call it the beer capital for nothing! grin.gif

The moral of the story is you can get a DUI/DWI/BWI on just about anything that moves, except Montana or somewhere that legalized riding horses while you're intoxicated (someone can verify that one).

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So wait a minute, if I was to saddle one of those 30 pound lakers that STF keeps ranting about......nevermind. Drink sensibly kids. Even if I cant spell sensabilly! Just do it. The alternative isn't pleasant. If you look in your boating handbook the DNR hands out when you register or renew your rig, it's all there in black and white. If you don't have the book you can order it free of charge from the DNR website.

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