If you live in Virginia, there are many opportunities to get out on the water in your boat and enjoy a sunny day. You may be tempted to bring a pack of beer along to heighten the experience, too. But before you do that, Mark B. Arthur, attorney at law, will give you the rundown of maritime laws in Virginia state waters.

Though many people treat boating as its own separate entity, it’s still a motor vehicle. Most maritime laws actually closely mirror drunk driving laws. In short, no, you should not be bringing alcohol with you on any boat. Having a high blood alcohol content (BAC) level can increase your chances of getting into a crash with floating obstacles or other vehicles. Additionally, you will be more likely to drown if you fall in the water when you’re drunk.

If you have a BAC level of 0.08 or higher, it will be considered an operating under the influence (OUI) offense. Additionally, there is a zero tolerance policy for anyone under the age of 21. If you fall into either of these categories, you could be subject to the penalties a DUI driver faces. This may include jail time, fines of $2,500, mandatory enrollment in safety programs to prevent future incidents, and the temporary loss of your boating license.

Facing DUI charges of any sort can be a harrowing ordeal. If you are facing any accusations along these lines, consider contacting an attorney for more information on how to fight your charges and protect your licenses. You can also follow the link here to our web page.