During the summer months, many New Yorkers enjoy getting out on the water. A day on the boat is a great way to soak up some sun and enjoy water activities. For many, a day on the boat also means grilling and enjoying some adult beverages. While consuming alcohol on a boat is legal, consuming an amount that puts a person above the legal limit then operating a boat in not legal. Thus, individuals could face charges for boating while intoxicated if he or she is suspected of committing such a violation.

According to article 4 section 49 a of New York State Navigation Law, it is unlawful for a person to operate a vessel if he or she has a BAC of 0.008 percent or higher in their blood, breath, saliva or urine. Additionally, it is unlawful for a person to operate a vessel while in an intoxicated state no matter what his or her BAC is.

A violation of this law is considered to be a misdemeanor. This crime could be punishable by imprisonment of up to one year in jail and a fine between $500 and $1,000. If the accused has a previous charge for operating a boat with intoxicated, he or she could face a class E felony charge, which is punishable by imprisonment that is established by penal law and a fine between $1,000 and $5,000.

While it is a great way to unwind and enjoy the outdoors, drinking while boating can be a risky situation. Those facing charges for operating a boat while intoxicated should understand they have criminal defense options. By taking action, the accused could help reduce or even dismiss the charge against them, helping them avoid harsh penalties.