Phoenix Boating While Intoxicated or OUI Defense Attorney

Driving a car is not the only time you can be in legal hot water for being intoxicated and in control of a vehicle.  If you operate a watercraft while impaired, you face significant consequences that can affect your life for years to come. If you’re facing charges for OUI, please contact the Phoenix boating while intoxicated defense lawyers at AZ Defenders for a free consultation to discuss your case.

Arizona Boating While Intoxicating Laws

Our Phoenix criminal defense lawyers can help you break down the specifics of Arizona boating law. Arizona Revised Statutes § 5-395 makes it a crime to operate or be in actual physical control of a motorized watercraft that is underway within the state if:

  • You are under the influence of intoxicating liquor, drug, vapor releasing substance containing a toxic substance, or any combination thereof, and are impaired to the slightest degree;
  • Your alcohol concentration is 0.08 or more within two hours of operating or being in actual physical control of the motorized watercraft and the alcohol concentration results from alcohol consumed before or while operating or being in actual physical control of the watercraft;
  • While there is any controlled substance or its metabolite in your body;
  • Having an alcohol concentration of 0.04 or more if the motorized watercraft is a commercial motorized watercraft

Boating While Intoxicated or OUI in violation of Arizona Revised Statutes § 5-395 is a Class 1 Misdemeanor.  If you’re convicted of a Class 1 Misdemeanor you face a maximum penalty of 6 months in jail, a fine of up to $2,500, and up to 3 years of probation.

Boating While Intoxicated or OUI carries with it some mandatory minimum sentences, however.  If this is your first offense, you must be sentenced to no less than 10 days in jail, be fined no less than $250, pay $1,000 in assessments, complete alcohol or drug screening and treatment, and may be required to perform community restitution.  Fortunately, if no other person was recklessly risked during the commission of the offense with a substantial risk of physical injury, the judge can suspend the jail time entirely if you complete the alcohol screening and counseling program.  If someone was recklessly risked with a substantial risk of physical injury, the judge can suspend all but 24 hours of the jail time.

If you have a prior conviction within the last 84 months for Boating While Intoxicated or OUI and you are convicted again, then you face an enhanced and more serious penalty.  If convicted again, you must serve no less than 90 days in jail, pay no less than a $500 fine, perform no less than 30 hours of community service, and pay $2,500 in assessments.  Unless the judge that sentences you determines that you recklessly endangered another person with a substantial risk of physical injury, the judge can suspend all the jail time except for 30 days if you complete a court ordered alcohol or drug screening, education, or treatment program.

Extreme Boating While Intoxicated or Extreme OUI

Just as with Driving Under the Influence, Boating While Intoxicated or OUI punishment increases along with the alcohol concentration.  An Extreme Boating While Intoxicated or OUI conviction is also a Class 1 Misdemeanor but carries mandatory sentencing requirements.  Extreme Boating While Intoxicated or OUI is defined by Arizona Revised Statutes § 5-397.

If you are convicted of Boating While Intoxicated or OUI and your alcohol concentration was 0.15 – 0.199, then you face no less than 30 days in jail, a minimum fine of $250, $2,250 in assessments, and potential community service.  If you complete a court ordered alcohol or drug screening, education, or treatment program, then the judge can suspend all but ten days of the jail sentence.

If you are convicted of Boating While Intoxicated or OUI and your alcohol concentration was above a 0.20, then you face a minimum of 45 days in jail, a minimum fine of $500, $2,250 in assessments, and potential community service.

If you have a prior Boating While Intoxicated or OUI conviction in the past 84 months and are convicted of an Extreme OUI then the punishment will go up.

If your alcohol concentration was 0.15 – 0.199, then you face 120 days in jail, a minimum fine of $500, assessments of $2,750, and at least 30 hours of community service.  60 days of your sentence may be suspended by the judge if you complete court ordered alcohol or drug screening, education, or treatment program.

If your alcohol concentration was a 0.20 or higher, then you face 180 days in jail, a fine of no less than $1,000, assessments of $2,750, and at least 30 hours of community service.

Felony Boating While Intoxicated or Aggravated OUI

Again, just like with DUIs, you can be convicted of a felony for operating a boat while intoxicated.  There are two ways to commit a felony Boating While Intoxicated, or Aggravated OUI, as defined by Arizona Revised Statutes § 5-396:

  • Being convicted of a third or subsequent violation of Boating While Intoxicated or OUI within 84 months. This includes Regular and Extreme Boating While Intoxicated or OUI.
  • Committing either Regular or Extreme Boating While Intoxicated when a minor under 15 years of age is aboard the watercraft.

The punishment varies based on the type.  If this is your third or subsequent conviction, then it is a Class 4 Felony.  A Class 4 Felony carries a prison sentence of 1 year to 3.75 years in prison, up to 4 years of probation, and a maximum fine of $150,000.  However, if you are convicted of an Aggravated OUI, you must serve at least 4 months in prison before any probation is granted.  In addition, there is a minimum fine of no less than $750, $2,250 in assessments, and mandatory alcohol or drug screening, counseling, and education.

If there is a child aboard, then the conviction is for a Class 6 Felony.  A class 6 felony carries a minimum prison sentence of 4 months to 2 years, up to 3 years of probation, and a maximum fine of $150,000.  As above, there is a minimum fine of no less than $750, $2,250 in assessments, and mandatory alcohol or drug screening, counseling, and education.  If convicted of this offense, you must serve the mandatory minimum jail sentence as you would for the underlying OUI; so if it is a first offense regular OUI, 10 days in jail, if it is a second offense extreme above a 0.20, 180 days in jail.

Apart from the penalties there, a conviction for an Aggravated OUI leads to a permanent felony conviction on your record, loss of civil rights, and associated difficulties.  An Aggravated OUI will also lead to the forfeiture of the watercraft used pursuant to Arizona Revised Statutes § 5-396.01.

Contact our Phoenix Boating While Intoxicated or OUI Defense Attorneys

Boating While Intoxicated OUI cases are just as complicated as DUIs, although are far less well understood.  If you are facing the potentially life-changing consequences of an OUI conviction, then you need an experienced and knowledgeable experience with the skills to handle your specific situation.  The Phoenix boating while intoxicated attorneys at AZ Defenders will tailor a defense for your individual case and help you achieve the best possible result. Call today  at 480-456-6400 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation.

 

 

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