Wilmington, NC Boating While Impaired Lawyer
Much like DWI Law in North Carolina, you can be arrested for the operation of a boat while under the influence of an impairing substance or having a BAC of .08 or more. In North Carolina, this is known as Boating While Impaired.
Unlike an DWI, a refusal to take a breathalyzer when charged with BWI will not revoke your driver’s license for a year. If a boater refuses to consent to a breath test, an officer must obtain a search warrant to take a boater’s blood sample.
It’s important to note that boating while impaired charge is not just limited to boats. The law covers personal watercrafts, such as water skis, and also includes non-motorized vehicles.
While boating, you can be stopped for any reason. Marine patrols do not need a reason to stop you and board your vessel.
A boating while impaired charge is serious. Like a DWI, it can leave a lasting mark on your life if convicted.
If you have been charged with Boating While Impaired in North Carolina, it pays to speak with a lawyer about your situation. The McGee Law firm offers free consultations, so it doesn’t cost you anything to understand more about your case.
In June of 2016, North Carolina enacted “Sheyenne’s Law” which presented stricter penalties for Boating While Impaired charges which involved aggravating factors:
Serious Injury – an impaired boater who causes serious injury to another can be convicted of a Class F Felony
Aggravated Serious Injury – an impaired boater who causes serious injury to another and has a prior boating impaired conviction within 7 years can be convicted of a Class E Felony.
Death – an impaired boater who causes the death of another person can be convicted of a Class D Felony.
Aggravated Death – an impaired boater who causes death to another person and has a prior boating impaired conviction within 7 years can be convicted of a Class D Felony.
Repeat death – an impaired boater who causes the death of another person and has a prior conviction of death by impaired boater can be convicted of a Class B2 Felony.