Hablamos Español
Protecting people's rights,
that's what I'm all about
Free Case Evaluation
(713) 589-8855
Phones Answered 24/7
Why Hire Me

Experienced and Aggressive Representation

Read More >
Office Location

Law Office of Justin T. Surginer
8831 Long Point Rd Ste 401
Houston, TX 77055

(713) 589-8855

view directions >

Boating While Intoxicated

Many people enjoy alcoholic beverages while relaxing on a boat on a nice day in Houston. Some people may believe that the rules for drinking and operating a boat are very different from the rules for operating a car while intoxicated. In reality, the rules are much more similar than some people realize.

Operating any motor vehicle while intoxicated is against the law and anyone who violates that law may be subject to prosecution.

Possible Texas Penalties

The legal consequences for drinking and boating are identical to the penalties for a DWI. Interestingly, a conviction for a BWI can be used as grounds to increase the penalties for any subsequent DWI offenses.

According to the Texas Penal Code, the penalties for this offense are:

It is important to note that these are the standard penalties for this offense. The circumstances of an individual case can significantly alter the penalties that will be applied in a particular instance. For example, a person may be bailed out of jail before 72 hours have passed and jail time for a first time BWI offense is often probated.

Legal Defenses

Boating while drunk charges present a unique opportunity for Houston defense attorneys to create a case in favor of their client. Unlike on a roadway, police officers do not need probable cause to stop a motorized water vessel. They are allowed to stop any such vessel at any time in order to perform safety inspections. This means that an officer could stop a motorized boat and come on board to make sure that enough life vests are being properly stored.

They can then investigate the boat pilot for signs of intoxication. Because field sobriety tests must be performed on a flat, level surface, the officer must escort the driver to shore. Even after waiting a brief period, many people have trouble balancing after spending hours on the water. A defense lawyer could use this fact to argue that his client was improperly investigated for signs of intoxication.

Boating While Intoxicated Attorney

Many people don’t realize that BWIs are so aggressively enforced in Texas. If you have been drinking, you should never operate any equipment, including boats. However, if you have been arrested for this crime, then the next thing you must do is contact a criminal defense attorney ASAP. Schedule your free case review with Justin T. Surginer by calling 713-589-8855 today.

Request a Call
 I have read the
Case Results
  • DWI - Harris County
    Young man seen leaving nightclub by a police officer. Client takes and fails field sobriety tests and breathalyzer test.
    Not guilty
  • Possession of Marijuana- Harris County
    Client set for trial on two possession of marijuana cases. Client admits to owning all marijuana in the vehicle on video. Motion to suppress granted.
    Cases dismissed
  • DWI - Harris County
    Client found passed out behind the wheel of a car by police officer after crashing into a light post.
    Case dismissed
  • Solicitation of Prostitution - Matagorda County
    Prison guard arrested for soliciting an undercover police officer. All was captured on audio recording.
    Jury trial, not guilty
More Results >
Recent Blog Posts