Toledo, Ohio
Civil Litigation Attorneys

Toledo, Ohio Civil Litigation Attorneys

Can you get arrested for driving a boat while drunk?

On Behalf of | May 13, 2023 | Boating And ATV Accidents

Summer days spent boating on Ohio’s lakes and rivers can be a great way to relax and enjoy the outdoors.

However, it is important to be responsible while operating a boat. In Ohio, it is illegal to operate a boat while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and the consequences can be severe.

Ohio’s BUI laws

Ohio has strict laws in place to prevent boating under the influence. The state’s blood alcohol content limit for operating a boat is the same as driving a car, which is 0.08%. Additionally, the state has authorized law enforcement officers to conduct breath, blood or urine tests to determine a boater’s BAC if they have reason to believe the operator is under the influence. Refusal to submit to a BAC test can result in the suspension of boating privileges.

Consequences of boating under the influence

Boating under the influence can lead to severe consequences in Ohio. Depending on the circumstances, the penalties for a BUI conviction can include:

  • Fines up to $1,000 for a first offense
  • Up to six months in jail for a first offense
  • Mandatory attendance at a boating safety course
  • Suspension of boating privileges
  • Community service
  • Confiscation of the boat

Subsequent BUI convictions can result in even harsher penalties, including longer jail time and higher fines. Additionally, a BUI conviction can have long-term consequences, such as difficulty obtaining a job or loss of boating privileges for a significant period.

The state’s strict BUI laws and penalties serve as a reminder that drunk boating can be just as dangerous as drunk driving. If you plan on operating a boat, it is crucial to remember that alcohol and boating do not mix. Always designate a sober driver, and if you get arrested for boating under the influence, seek guidance to help navigate the process and protect your rights.