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Boating While Impaired

When the weather is warm, there is no better way to spend a day than out on the water. During the spring, summer and fall, Charlotte area residents and visitors frequent Lake Norman, Lake Wylie, Mountain Island Lake, Lake Hickory and nearby rivers.

Unfortunately, a day of fun in the sun can quickly turn into a nightmare when excess alcohol is consumed out on the water. In North Carolina, those charged with boating while impaired (BWI) or boating under the influence (BUI) can face consequences just as serious as for those who are charged with driving while impaired (DWI).

Hire a skilled and knowledgeable boating while impaired defense lawyer if you or a loved one has been charged with BWI. It is important that your attorney immediately dedicate the time and expertise to your case, as errors by authorities caught early could greatly help your defense.

If you have been charged with BWI or BUI, contact a drunk boating defense attorney at Randall & Stump, PLLC. Our attorneys can begin aggressively defending your rights.

Boating While Impaired Charges in North Carolina

  • One of the major differences between boating while impaired and driving while impaired is that law enforcement, whether it be the North Carolina Wildlife Commission, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department or Mecklenburg County Sheriff's Department, do not need probable cause (belief that a crime has been or will be committed) to stop a boat or other water vessel. Instead, law enforcement can stop a vessel or boat under the guise of a "safety check."
  • Another important difference between boating while impaired and driving while impaired is that you do not have to submit to a breath test or field sobriety tests when stopped for BWI. Unlike DWI, BWI is not an "implied consent" law and refusal of any tests does not subject you to a civil revocation.
  • It is important to understand that you do not have to operate a motorboat to be cited for BWI. In fact, if the object floats (canoe, water skis, rowboat, etc.) and you are the operator or the one in control of it, you can be charged with BWI. It is a Class 2 misdemeanor and can carry up to 60 days in jail and a $1,000 fine. The collateral consequences of a conviction can be damage to your reputation, loss of your job and an increase in or loss of your insurance coverage.
  • In cases of boating while impaired, the Intoxilyzer, Intox EC/IR-II or other breath machine can be attacked more often as it is not given the same weight. As a result, a dismissal or a reduction of the charges may be possible given the facts of the case.

Contact Our Mecklenburg County Boating While Impaired Defense Attorneys

If you face BWI charges in North Carolina, we are here to provide you with the skilled defense representation you need. Contact us today online or by telephone at 704-286-6942 or toll free at 800-565-1435 to set up a free initial consultation with a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney.