Experienced Jersey Shore Boat DWI Lawyer
A lot of recreational boaters do not realize that they have a legal duty to safely operate their vessel and refrain from drinking alcohol while operating their boat. It’s all too easy to forget about statutory requirements when you’re out on the water during the summer, enjoying time with friends and family. If you were arrested for operating a boat while intoxicated along the Jersey Shore or in any of the state’s bays or rivers, you now face serious charges and severe penalties. In addition to a possible prison sentence and heavy fines, you could lose both your driver’s license and your boating license if you are convicted of boating while intoxicated (BWI).
Whether you’ve been charged with drunk driving or operating a boat while under the influence, drunk driving charges need to be taken seriously. John Tumelty is a former state and assistant county prosecutor who now devotes his entire legal practice to representing people who’ve been charged with criminal offenses and drunk driving violations. Mr. Tumelty defends clients facing charges for boating DWI on bodies of water in Cape May and Atlantic counties, including Lakes Bay, Scull Bay, Absecon Bay, Absecon Inlet, Brigantine Inlet, Great Bay, Little Egg Harbor, Toms River, and Island Beach State Park. When you’ve been charged with boating while intoxicated, you want Mr. Tumelty on your side.
To learn more about how Mr. Tumelty can help you in your BWI case, check out his DWI FAQ page.
How Severe Are the Penalties for Operating a Watercraft or Boat While Under the Influence of Alcohol?
N.J.S.A. 12:7-46 governs boating while intoxicated (BWI) charges in New Jersey. The BWI law applies to individuals who operate a “vessel” that is 12 feet or more in length. Anyone operating a boat with a BAC of .08 percent or greater is in violation of the statute. The threshold is lower for the operator of a commercial vessel: .04 percent. Operators of certain vessels, such as water skis, are prohibited from consuming any alcohol while operating the craft.
BWI cases are often treated by prosecutors in the same way that they treat DWI cases. In fact, BWI is commonly referred to as boating DWI. The penalties for a boating DWI conviction vary, depending upon the number of prior offenses:
- For a first offense BWI, the penalties include driver’s license suspension for three months and boating license suspension for one year. You can also be fined between $250 and $400.
- For a second offense, you can be sentenced to between two and 90 days in county jail and fined between $500 and $1,000. A second offense BWI is also punishable by suspension of driver’s license for six months and suspension of boating license for two years.
- A third offense BWI conviction can result in a sentence of between 10 and 180 days in jail. You can also lose your driver’s license for two years and your boating license for 10 years, as well as incur fines of up to $1,000.
Former Prosecutor Helps Clients Beat Boating DWI Charges in Atlantic City, New Jersey
An experienced DWI defense lawyer can help you beat your charges by challenging the admissibility of evidence against you, such as breath tests and blood & urine tests. Breath tests and field sobriety tests in BWI cases are particularly susceptible to error and influence from weather elements.
John Tumelty is a South Jersey attorney with local experience. When you hire John Tumelty, you know that your case will not be passed off to a new attorney or a junior associate. He is a sole practitioner who will be by your side throughout the case and at every court appearance. He helps clients from the initial interview until the case is successfully resolved. If you’ve been charged with a boating DWI in Atlantic City or anywhere else in South Jersey, contact the Law Offices of John W. Tumelty today to schedule a free consultation.