Phoenix DUI Lawyer Reminds Boaters That Boating DUIs Carry Harsh Penalties

Arizona Boating DUI / OUI Laws

 In Arizona, it is a crime to operate a boat on any body of water while intoxicated with any drug or alcohol.

There are three names for this specific conviction, including a boating OUI, a BUI, or a boating DUI.

Many of the consequences for these charges are similar to those for a standard DUI while in a car. The differences are that you are in control of a watercraft rather than a vehicle. You must schedule a consultation with a defense attorney who can explain the options you have after an arrest.

What is a Considered a Watercraft in Arizona?

You must understand how Arizona defines a watercraft to know your legal rights after getting a DUI on a boat. ARS 5-395 provides the law that covers these terms.

Arizona Boating DUI / OUI under ARS 5-395

Under this statute, to receive a boating OUI or DUI, you must have physical control over a motorized watercraft. The police officers have to prove that you are under the influence of alcohol, a drug, or any prescription medication. Even slight impairment counts towards this crime.

A motorized watercraft under ARS 5-395 is one “propelled by machinery.” A defense attorney will be on your side when the government tries to find a way to make your boat fit the bill. Remember, however, the machinery in place does not have to be the primary method behind moving the watercraft.

Open Container Laws on a Boat

Arizona has specific laws in place to determine if you can have an open container of alcohol while on a boat. The statutes are under ARS 4-251.

Any passenger on your boat can have an open container of alcohol. If you are the operator of the watercraft, however, you will face a class two misdemeanor.


Penalties for a Regular OUI or DUI at the Lake

First-Time Offenses

A first-time offense regarding a boating DUI, OUI, or BUI carries with it the lightest consequences. These are class one misdemeanors, including:

10 days to 6 months in jail
Possible suspension of up to 9 days of jail with substance abuse treatment
Fines ranging from $1,250 to $2,500
Additional substance abuse classes

Second-Time Offenses

The conviction is on your record for seven years for a regular OUI or DUI at the lake. A second offense will carry harsher consequences within that timeframe, though it is still a class one misdemeanor.

90 days to 6 months in jail, including 30 consecutive days
Suspension of up to 60 days with substance abuse treatment
Fines of up to $3,000
30 hours of community service
Additional substance abuse treatment

Third-Time Offenses

Third-time offenses carry different penalties within the seven-year timeframe mentioned above. This conviction is a class four felony with the following consequences.

Fines of at least $4,000
Minimum of 4 months in prison
Drug and alcohol screenings
Substance abuse treatment
Possible loss of boating license
Possible forfeiture of watercraft

… Read more

Arizona DUI Defense and DUI Laws

Being arrested for a DUI can be frightening for most people. Many Arizonans charged with DUIs do not have any previous experience with the criminal justice system and do not know what might happen to them.

The experienced DUI attorneys at Colburn Hintze Maletta can help you understand the charges you face and guide you through the process. We are aggressive criminal defense lawyers who work hard to secure the best possible outcomes for our clients.


How a DUI Defense Lawyer Can Help

Your Phoenix DUI defense lawyer from Colburn Hintze Maletta can help you in the following ways:

Advise you about the DUI laws and what to expect at your court hearings
Negotiate a reduced sentence or reduced charges
Win a dismissal of the charges
Appear with or for you at all hearings
Save money on your court fees
Secure a not guilty verdict at trial

When you retain a DUI defense lawyer from Colburn Hintze Maletta, you are much likelier to secure a favorable outcome than if you try to represent yourself. You will also have an advocate by your side to help you throughout the criminal court process.


[email protected]
Colburn Hintze Maletta PLLC
2633 E. Indian School Rd.
Suite 110
Phonenix AZ 85016
(602) 902-1953

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