North Carolina laws regarding boating are harsh and boating while impaired (BWI) is a common charge.
Do You Know Your Boat Can Be Stopped At Any Time?
Boaters in North Carolina can be charged with boating while impaired if they are under the influence of an impairing substance (including marijuana) or have a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or more while operating any watercraft, including water-skis, jet skis, motor boats, canoes, rowboats and sailboats.
If it floats and you are in control of it, you can be charged!
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 probable cause.
Boating While Impaired Is Actually A Serious Charge
A BWI is a class 2 misdemeanor and while such a charge does not have the same impact on your driver's license, like suspension or revocation, a conviction for boating while impaired can still affect other aspects of your life, such as your credit, insurance rates and even employment prospects. A BWI conviction is also public record - employers, neighbors, friends, creditors and insurers can all see your record.
Defenses To Your BWI Charge
Unlike a drunk driving offense, the laws regarding boating while impaired does not give the Intoxilyzer, Intox EC/IR-II or other test the same weight and benefit.
Therefore, a .08 BAC reading can be attacked and possibly disregarded by the judge. This increases the chance of a dismissal of the case.
Experienced, Certified North Carolina State Criminal Law Specialist To Help You
Certified by the North Carolina State Bar, Charlotte criminal defense attorney Chris Connelly is a certified specialist in State Criminal Law and has been representing clients in state and federal courts for over 25 years.
He knows the laws, defenses and strategies to help get your case dismissed or charges reduced.
Contact our office today to learn more from a skilled lawyer: 704-376-9376.
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