A day on the open waters in Florida might seem like a perfect way to enjoy the lovely weather. As long as you are the one who is piloting the boat, you need to make sure that you are sober. Being drunk while you are the one in the wheelhouse can spell disaster for your fun day.

You can face criminal charges for drunk boating if you are found to be drunk. There are several things that you need to think about when you are going out for a day on the water.

Alcohol affects you differently on the water

You can’t count on being able to hold your liquor the same way on a boat as you do on dry land. The sun and the motion of the water can lead you to feel the impacts of alcohol long before you would have on the land. This means that you might show signs that alert the authorities to your intoxication much sooner.

A host of penalties are possible

The legal limit for blood alcohol concentration on a boat is the same as in a car, which is .08 percent. If you are over this limit, you will likely face charges. These charges can lead to you spending time in jail, having to pay fines, losing your driver’s license, having your boat forfeited and other penalties. Think carefully about this if you are tempted to boat after drinking. If you are already facing these charges, make sure that you think carefully about the defense strategy you are going to use to fight back against the charges.

Life might change

Your life might change considerably after a drunk boating conviction. You might find that the costs of the conviction mean that you can’t do the things that you once did. Without your boat or your driver’s license, you might find that you aren’t able to have fun or go to work. All of these should serve as the fuel you need to fight the charges.

Source: FindLaw, “Boating Under the Influence Basics,” accessed April 28, 2017