Queens, NY asked in Admiralty / Maritime for New York

Q: How are boating "DUIs" handled in NY?

Related Topics:
1 Lawyer Answer
Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar
  • Maritime Law Lawyer
  • Little Neck, NY
  • Licensed in New York

A: Boating “DUIs” are handled under a legislative framework similar to that for vehicular DUIs on the state's roadways. Operating a vessel in New York under the influence of alcohol or drug is subject to criminal prosecution that can carry prison terms, penalties, and fines. For these offenses, the terms BWI (Boating While Intoxicated) and BWAI (Boating While Ability Impaired) are used. The offenses are distinguished from one another by a defendant's blood alcohol level (BAC). Statutory BAC levels are outlined in the state’s navigation laws (New York Consolidated Laws, Navigation Law - NAV § 49-a. Operation of a Vessel While Under the Influence of Alcohol or Drugs). BWI is based upon higher BACs than BWAI. In addition to blood alcohol levels, the statute looks at past violations within a given time period. The statute also addresses legal presumptions that arise in terms of what blood alcohol levels constitute prima facie evidence for a prosecutor and what blood alcohol levels constitute relevant evidence. Federal laws can also apply, as vessels are subject to boarding by personnel from federal agencies such as the U.S. Coast Guard as well as local police and other agencies. If the vessel operator is involved in a boating accident, then similar to DUI charges in motor vehicle accidents, evidence of the BWI or BWAI charges would be relevant in determining liability.

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.