Residents of and visitors to Mecklenburg County and Cabarrus County have the opportunity to enjoy Lake Wylie, Mountain Island Lake, Lake Norman and our other waterways. As a result, boating is a prime recreational activity.
North Carolina laws regarding boating are harsh and Boating While Impaired (BWI) is a common charge. Boating While Impaired (or Intoxicated, etc.) is commonly underestimated in its gravity. While not having the same impact on your Drivers License (suspension, revocation, etc.) it nonetheless could affect your insurance, your credit and your good name. Your conviction for Boating While Impaired will be a public record for the entire world to see, including employers, customers, neighbors, friends, creditors and insurers.
An officer from the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police, the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, or the Mecklenburg County Sheriff's office can stop a boat driver for a safety check at any time. The officer does not need to suspect the driver of doing anything illegal (probable cause)
If you were stopped for Boating While Impaired, contact a lawyer for advice. Drunk boating (BWI) is a serious charge that may affect your criminal record, insurance, credit and your good name.
If stopped for Boating While Impaired, you do NOT have to take a breath test or field sobriety test or answer questions about your alcohol consumption.
Unlike a Driving While Impaired DWI case involving a land vehicle, the Boating While Impaired BWI law does not give the Intoxilyzer, Intox EC/IR-II or other test the same weight and benefit. Therefore, a .08 Blood Alcohol Content can freely attacked and possibly disregarded by the judge. This increases the chance of a dismissal of the case.
Boating While Impaired — What Exactly Is a "Boat?"
A BWI charge can involve operation of any watercraft: water-skis, Jet Skis, motor boats, canoes, rowboats and sailboats. If it floats, and you are in control of it, you can be charged! Boating While Impaired is a Class Two misdemeanor crime. You can be charged with boating while impaired if you are under the influence of an impairing substance (including marijuana) or have a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more, as determined by an Alco-Sensor/AlcoSensor®, Intox EC/IR-II, Intoxilyzer®, or blood test.
Charlotte criminal defense attorney Chris Connelly is a certified specialist in State Criminal Law (certified by the North Carolina State Bar), and has been representing clients in state and federal courts for over 25 years. Mr. Connelly will consider strategies to get your case dismissed or charges reduced.
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Call 704-376-9376 or e-mail our Charlotte office to schedule a consultation about defense of a Boating While Impaired (BWI) charge.
The Law Office of Christopher A. Connelly
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Criminal Defense Attorney
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