Louisiana is known for its gorgeous lakes and rivers, both of which are sources of leisure and industry for local residents. However, when alcohol enters the mix, it can lead to disaster. Like automobiles, the sheer weight and power of boats and other vessels can make them dangerous if they are not handled responsibly. Sometimes drivers may add alcohol or drugs to their leisure activities on the water, increasing the potential for harm. Louisiana has laws in place to penalize the impaired operation of these vessels in order to prevent potential injuries to the driver, passengers, and those around them. The consequences of a conviction for operating a boat while under the influence can be severe. If you are facing boating DWI charges, it pays to have a knowledgeable and experienced attorney representing you.
The Law Offices of Ossie Brown has helped clients navigate these difficult charges to get them reduced or dropped. And we are ready to provide you with the defense and dedication to your case that you deserve. Learn more about DWI boating laws in Louisiana and discover how an experienced attorney could help you.
The same DWI laws that apply to Louisiana roadways also apply to the waterways. In Louisiana, a vessel operator cannot drive with a blood alcohol level (BAC) of 0.08 or higher. The consequences can include up to $1,000 in fines, up to six months of imprisonment, or both. Additionally, an individual who has been convicted of a DWI in a watercraft faces having their automobile driver’s licenses suspended. In the event of an accident, more serious charges and penalties can compound the DWI charge.
It is also against the law for a boat operator or owner to allow someone under the influence to operate the vessel. According to Louisiana Wildlife & Fisheries regulations, “It is also illegal for a person who owns or is in charge of any watercraft to authorize or knowingly permit anyone who is intoxicated or under the influence of any narcotic drug, barbiturate, or marijuana to operate that watercraft.” So, even in a case where the boat’s owner or operator has no alcohol in their system, they can still be held responsible for the actions of others in their control. This also extends beyond boats to other motorized watercrafts such as jet skis.
Again, in Louisiana a BAC of 0.08 or more while operating a vessel is enough to be arrested and charged with DWI. However, BAC levels do not always accurately reflect the reality of the situation. Sometimes this equipment can malfunction, leading to inaccurate results. This is why it is vital to your case to have a knowledgeable boating DWI attorney on your side. An experienced attorney can examine the evidence, including the breathalyzer analysis used to determine your BAC, to help you build a stronger defense of your situation.
A boating DWI conviction can have serious consequences on your life, not only costing you money, your transportation privileges, but also your freedom. However, with the right legal defense, you can successfully defend these charges. Don’t face prosecution alone, contact The Law Offices of Ossie Brown, who will be there to protect your rights from start to finish!