Boating while intoxicated? You could face penalties

On Behalf of | Mar 10, 2022 | DUI/DWI

You may already know that driving while intoxicated is against the law in Minnesota, but did you know that applies to boating as well? When you’re driving a boat, you cannot be intoxicated behind the wheel.

According to the laws in Minnesota, driving while impaired is a crime when you are in control of a motorboat and are:

  • Under the influence of a controlled substance
  • Under the influence of alcohol
  • Under the intoxicating influence of another substance that the person knows or should know could cause impairment
  • Found to have a blood alcohol concentration of .08% or higher
  • Driving, operating or physically controlling a commercial vessel while you have a blood alcohol concentration of .04% or higher
  • Under the influence of any amount of a Schedule I or II drug or a related metabolite (this doesn’t include tetrahydrocannabinols or marijuana)

If you are stopped and found to be under the influence, you can be charged and sentenced in the same way as someone who has been driving a motor vehicle on land in the same condition. For example, first-degree driving while impaired charges could come with a penalties such as imprisonment for up to seven years, fines of up to $14,000 and other penalties.

What should you do if you’re accused of driving while under the influence?

Any time you’re facing accusations of driving while under the influence, you do need to take steps to protect yourself and your best interests. If you have taken the Breathalyzer test, it may be used against you in court. It is reasonable to discuss challenging that test with your attorney’s help, as these tests are not always accurate.

If you have a medical condition that may have impacted your ability to drive or you suffered unusual side effects from a medication you normally take, these and other issues should be discussed and used in your defense. There are many options that you could have to defend yourself, so it’s necessary to learn more about the law and to take a proactive step towards building a defense if you have been accused of wrongdoing.