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Is it illegal to drink and operate a watercraft?

by | Sep 21, 2018 | Drunk Driving Charges |

If you are considering the purchase of a watercraft, you need to know all of the laws associated with these vessels. It’s not easy owning a boat, jet ski, kayak or any other type of watercraft. You need to go to a boating education class for a boater’s license. You need insurance and have to pay other fees. It’s also important to know that you can be charged with boating under the influence if you are drinking and operating the boat.

A common warning issued by the United States Coast Guard is that alcohol can be more hazardous when consumed on the water compared to on land. The operator of a boat or other watercraft can be pulled over by law enforcement agencies of all levels if they’re suspected of boating under the influence — just like a traffic stop can be initiated on land.

If you are charged with boating under the influence, you could lose your boating license. Boating under the influence with minors on board can lead to especially serious consequences. It can be even worse if you gave the minors on your boat alcohol or drugs.

A second or subsequent charge of boating under the influence could lead to hefty fines, years in jail, suspension of your boating license and even your driver’s license. You might also risk losing any commercial licenses you have.

Boating under the influence is a serious crime that law enforcement officers in Florida crack down on. Like a DUI charge, it can land you in jail for months or years, depending on the severity of the crime and if it is your second or subsequent charge.