Intoxicated Boating in Ohio
Just like driving a car while intoxicated, operating a boat under the influence of alcohol is forbidden in Ohio. Ensuring safety on the water requires boaters to have a designated driver. That’s where a knowledgeable Steubenville OH OVI lawyer comes in, emphasizing the importance of this precautionary measure before embarking on a boating adventure.
Intoxicated boating is covered by Chapter 1547.11 of the Ohio Code. According to this statute, individuals are prohibited from operating or controlling watercraft, including boats, aquaplanes, water skis, and similar vessels, if their Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) exceeds 0.08 percent or if they are under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
The permissible BAC limit drops to 0.02 percent for individuals under the age of 21.
The classification of abuse-inducing substances includes drugs that can impair reflexes or judgment. This encompasses dangerous drugs, prescription drugs, over-the-counter (OTC) medications, and controlled substances.
Dangerous drugs such as meth, LSD, cocaine, marijuana, and heroin fall under this category. The classification also includes prescription drugs and opioid painkillers.
OTC medicines that can affect reflexes or judgment include allergy medications, cough and cold medicines, as well as sleep aids. It’s crucial to remember that alcohol can intensify the effects of OTC medicines. For instance, consuming alcohol after taking antihistamines can leave an individual too impaired to operate a boat.
When Can My Boat Be Stopped?
The rules governing boat stops differ from car stops. Unlike car stops that require reasonable suspicion, the Coast Guard holds the authority to halt a boat without any suspicion or warrant. They can conduct safety inspections, inspect equipment, and even evaluate the sobriety of the operator if signs of boater intoxication are observed. Additionally, local police officers, county sheriffs, and state troopers are authorized to stop boaters suspected of safety violations or intoxicated operation.
Definition of “Boat’s Operator”
Identifying the person in control of a boat can be more challenging compared to determining the driver of a car. There may be multiple individuals taking turns operating the vessel, or the boat may be left unattended while everyone enjoys a refreshing dip in the water. In such cases, the responsible party is designated by the Coast Guard or other authorities, and sobriety tests may be conducted for the boat’s owner or all individuals involved.
What Are the Penalties for Drunken Boating in Ohio?
But what are the penalties for operating a boat under the influence in Ohio? For a first offense, boating while intoxicated can result in a fine ranging from $150 to $1,000 and a jail sentence lasting from 3 days to 6 months. A second offense carries the same fine, but the jail time increases to 10 days to 6 months. Finally, a third offense can lead to a fine of up to $1,000 and a jail term of 30 days to 1 year.
Remember, it is crucial for the boat operator to remain completely sober at all times. Let a reliable Steubenville OH criminal lawyer or Steubenville OH OVI lawyer handle your legal matters in case you find yourself facing charges related to boating while intoxicated.
Ohio’s Implied Consent: Know Your Rights on the Water
Operating a vessel in Ohio comes with certain responsibilities, including adherence to the state’s implied consent law. Just like drivers of cars and trucks, boat operators implicitly give consent to chemical testing while on the water. Refusing to undergo testing can lead to a suspension of your boating privileges and registration for a period of one year.
However, it’s important to note that Ohio only requires boating licenses for commercial purposes, such as pleasure cruises or fishing. If you’re using a boat solely for recreational purposes, whether it’s your own or borrowed, you do not need a license and, therefore, your boating privileges cannot be revoked.
It’s worth mentioning that a boating while intoxicated conviction will not affect your driver’s license for your car or truck.
If you find yourself facing charges related to boating while intoxicated, consider seeking the assistance of the Youngstown Criminal Law Group, your trusted ally in navigating the complexities of OVI law. With their extensive knowledge and round-the-clock support, Steubenville OH OVI lawyers are ready to provide you with reliable guidance. Contact the Youngstown Criminal Law Group at (330) 992-3036 for a free consultation.
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