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BWI In Texas: Boating While Intoxicated

In Texas, if a person is out on a boat and there is the smell of alcohol the person risks being charged with an offense labeled BWI or boating while intoxicated. This is under Section 49.09 and considered a Class B misdemeanor. The minimum sentence of confinement for a BWI in Texas is 72 hours. It’s a serious charge. Be responsible if you’re the captain of any boat, don’t drink and boat. Also, wear your life vest and ensure that everyone on board is wearing one as well.

You need to find an attorney that has decades of experience in the state of Texas with boating laws and such BWI cases on the waterways of Texas. These include Galveston Bay, Livingston, Conroe, and Houston. We know that BWI arrests can greatly damage not only your reputation but also your licensing status. It’s just like a DUI or a DWI in driving your car. It has a huge impact on your job and your family.

A BWI in Texas Boating While Intoxicated Charge Can Happen To Anyone

Picture yourself out for 15 hours fishing. You’re tired. You have sea legs. Suddenly, a law enforcement vessel approaches your boat and boards for a safety inspection. He counts the life preservers. Then, he questions you about the alcohol he smells on your breath and your open containers on the boat.

Before you know it, you’re taken to the law enforcement vessel and ashore. You have 15 minutes to get your land legs back and pass a sobriety test that involves walking a straight line, standing on one leg and tilting your head back with your eyes closed. Worse, you can’t do it because you’re not yet acclimated to land. So they state that you’re guilty for this reason.

Which are the Penalties to get a BWI?

Which are the Penalties for a BWI? They’re exactly the same as for DWI: – On the 1st offense it can carry a fine up to $2k and/or jail time of up to 180 days – 2nd offense can carry a fine of up to $4k and/or jail time of up to 1 year – 3rd offense can carry a fine up to $10k and/or jail time of 2-10 years.

Fines and the jail time can be probated and also the Judge can require other probation related states for example classes, treatment, volunteer hours, MADD programs, etc. to be performed by you

BWI Cases Provide Special Challenges For Law Enforcement And Defense Counsel Alike.

Our investigators (former police officer) attentively evaluate the management of the SFST. The testing protocol requires the tests to be administered on a smooth, flat, level surface. Furthermore, while administering the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (eye test) examination, the defendant’s head is supposed to remain still. When the tests are administered while on the water clearly, the two of the cited standards are jeopardized. If, however, the tests are managed on dry land soon following the suspect had been boating, defense counsel should explore how long he’d been to the water, what his “ordinary” equilibrium would be under similar conditions, and investigate the chance that the suspect was suffering from “sea legs” throughout the operation of the evaluation.

Fines and the jail time may be probated as well as the Judge can require you to perform other probation, including courses, volunteer hours, MADD plans, etc.

It has happened to others, and it can happen to you. A Texas BWI can be unfairly charged. Don’t risk it. Find an attorney that knows your rights, knows the laws of Texas and is willing to go to bat for you!  You owe it to yourself to protect yourself against a wrongful BWI charge.

Author: Jim Butler

Jim Butler has been doing criminal defense for 23+ years. Jim Butler helps his clients get out of jail time where they could have lost their jobs, causing themselves, and their families to suffer both financially and mentally. Jim’s cases consist of 100% DWI (driving while intoxicated). He has devoted all of his time to these types of cases. He doesn’t take anything else because it would distract him from his expertise with DWI’s. Jim does not endorse drunk driving, but he also believes that many innocent people are “needlessly arrested”, and is a major reason as to why he became a DUI lawyer.

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