Boating Under the Influence in Arizona During 4th of July Could Cost You

Fourth of July is approaching and around the state of Arizona, parties are likely to happen whether that be in the comfort of your own home or out enjoying the hot Arizona summer. But there is one particular past time in Arizona that could result in hefty consequences during the Fourth of July when it comes to the world of boating.

Arizona is home to many amazing lakes that attract people from around the nation. The combination of the Fourth of July, lakes, and boating is usually regarded as a fun summer past time and for many, a traditional and annual event. But for some, lakes and boating can result in the worst possible scenario.

Under A.R.S. 5-395, it is illegal for any individual to operate a watercraft under the influence, whether that be an alcoholic substance, a drug substance, or a toxic vaporized substance. For any of the offenses listed below, the individual operating the watercraft must have had an above normal BAC content (listed below) within a two hour period of operating a watercraft.

Additionally, those operation commercialized watercraft with a BAC of more than .04% may be subject to charges and convictions.

Boating Under the Influence in Arizona

Boating under the influence (OUI) is illegal under Arizona state law. If you are charged with a OUI, the consequences you face will depend on a number of factors:

  • Having other operating a boat under the influence (OUI) convictions
  • Have a passenger aboard the boat who is under the age of 15
  • Has consumed alcohol in excess and pass the BAC legal limit

If you have a past DUI conviction, this will not factor into your OUI offenses, but if you have concerns, it’s best to speak with a lawyer at Killham Law Office.

Boating Under the Influence with a Passenger 15 Years or Under (Class 6 Felony)

IN some cases, there are offenses for boating under the influence which is considered “aggravated” offenses. These offenses occur when the boater operating the watercraft has exceeded the legal BAC limit and operated a watercraft with a passenger on board who is 15 years and under.

Unlike the other offenses listed below, and aggravated OUI will not result in a mandatory prison sentence. If someone has been charged with aggravated OUI, they will serve the jail time for the underlying offense they are charged for. This will be based on the BAC they had upon receiving the charge.

Unlike many of these offenses below, an aggravated OUI is deemed a class 6 felony. The penalty is a minimum of $4,000 in fines and forfeiture of their watercraft.

To learn more about an OUI and ways to defeat your charges, contact Killham Law Office at 623-239-0886.

Standard OUI Penalties (BAC between .08% – .15%)

There are different penalties for different types of alcohol consumption. For instance if the person operating a motorboat has surpassed the legal limit of consuming .08% alcohol but did not surpass .15%, they will experience the following consequences:

First-Time Offenders (Class 1 Misdemeanor)

At minimum, a first-time OUI offender will pay no less than $1,250 in fees and could spend up to 10 days in jail. First-time offenders are also required to pass an alcohol and drug assessment as ordered by a judge. If the situation is severe, the judge may order the first-time offender to take a substance abuse program.

Second-Time Offenders (Class 1 Misdemeanor)

If the person charged with a OUI obtains a second offense within 84 days of the first offense, they will pay a minimum $3,000 in fines and will be required to serve up to 90 days in jail and 30 of those days must be served consecutively. The second-time offender will also be required to complete 30 hours of community service.

Third-Time Offenders (Class 4 Felony)

Standard OUI third-time offenders will be required to pay a minimum of $4,000 in fines along with 4 months in prison. Third-time offenders will also be placed on mandatory probation and will be required by a judge to take drug and alcohol assessments. They will potentially be required to attend a substance abuse program depending on the severity. In some cases, the third-time offender may also be required to forfeit their watercraft at the time of the offense.

If you are a standard boating under the influence offender, you may need a lawyer to assist you in the courtroom. You could avoid a serious charge with strong representation from Killham Law Office in Arizona

Extreme OUI Penalties (BAC between .15% – .2%)

Extreme OUI offenders are typically those who are boating under the influence with a BAC that exceeds .15% but is less than .2%. If your blood alcohol content level was within this range at the time of your offense, you will receive the following penalties:

First-Time Offenders (Class 1 Misdemeanor)
First-time offenders will experience a minimum of $2,500 in fines and jail time of 30 consecutive days.
Second-Time Offenders (Class 1 Misdemeanor)

Like a standard OUI offense, second-time offenders for an extreme OUI will be defined as a class 1 misdemeanor. Boaters, convicted of this charge will face a minimum fine of $3,250 as well as a minimum 120 days in jail. 60 of those days must be served consecutively. Additionally, the second time offender must complete 30 days of community service.

Third-Time Offenders (Class 4 Felony) 

For third-time offenders, the penalties and fees are the same as standard OUI offenders who hold a BAC between .08% and .15%.

Super Extreme OUI Penalties (BAC more than .2%)

Boaters who are caught with a BAC of .2% of higher will be charged with a super extreme OUI penalty. Like the other OUIs, the BAC level must be within a 2 hour period of when the boater was operating the watercraft.

First-Time Offender (Class 1 Misdemeanor)

For super extreme charges, a boater will face 45 consecutive days in jail and a minimum fine of $2,750. They are also likely to face assessments

Second-Time Offender (Class 1 Misdemeanor)

If a first-time offender gets charged a IUI a second time within an 84 day period, they will face the following penalties and fines. A second-time offender of a super extreme charge will face 180 days in jail (90 of which must be spent in jail consecutively). They will also pay a fine of $3,750 and must complete 30 days of community service along with drug and alcohol assessments.

Third-Time Offender (Class 4 Felony)

Those charged with a third-time super extreme offense for boating under the influence charge will face the same penalties and fees as a Standard and Extreme third-time offense.

What Kind of Watercrafts are included in OUIs?

A person can be charged with an OUI if they are operating motorized watercraft which includes jet skis and personal watercrafts.

Can I Lose My License if Convicted of an OUI?

No. If you are convicted of an OUI you will not lose driving privileges. However, the convictions will still be filed with Arizona Department of Transportation.

Who Could Charge Me With an OUI?

There are many agencies that navigate waters in Arizona. If you are boating under the influence, you may be approached by one of the following agencies:

  • Arizona Game and Fish Department,
  • Arizona State Park Rangers
  • U.S. Park Rangers
  • Or your local or state law enforcement

What Legal Defenses Can I Use for an OUI?

There are many options for defending your OUI case. There are some individuals who choose to navigate their OUI case on their own, but at Killham Law Offices, we recommend contacting us so you can explore all corners of your case. Laura J. Killham is an expert at anticipating the moves of the prosecutors which will ultimately give you the best chance in the courtroom.

Why Choose Us?

Not many lawyers in Arizona have the prosecutorial experience that Laura J. Killham has. Her knowledge and expertise in the field of law has helped hundreds of clients over the past two decades. The dozens of five-star reviews say it all! To get the strong representation you deserve to fight your OUI case, contact Killham Law Office below to get a free consultation.

For a FREE Consultation Call 623-239-0886

We’ll use the facts to make your case is successful.
To take the next step with your case, call us.
We’ll put you on the right track and give you the end result you deserve.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *