It is spring here in Louisiana, and as the weather improves, many people may be preparing to take to the state's waterways. As you prepare your boat for the season, you may also benefit from reacquainting yourself with the laws. One that many people tend to forget about is boating under the influence, which you may also forget is a real charge that can have real impacts on your life.
Just as on land, driving a boat with a blood alcohol content greater than .08 is against the law. You could easily face the same penalties if convicted. A first offense could result in 48 hours of community service or two days in jail, along with a conviction on your record. A second offense could result in a mandatory two days in jail followed by 30 days of community service or 30 days in jail. A third offense could result in you spending a minimum of 45 days in a Louisiana jail.
However, the effects do not stop there. A conviction for drunk boating could affect your livelihood, your ability to obtain a job and even your ability to get into college or receive scholarships to pay for it. Since a conviction could stay on your record for 10 years, it follows you wherever you go.
As you prepare your boat so that you may enjoy time on the water this spring and summer, try to remember not to have too much fun drinking if you intend to drive your boat. If you mistakenly end up under arrest for boating under the influence, it would more than likely be in your best interest to contact a criminal defense attorney. Understanding your rights and knowing what options you have for the best outcome to the charges possible would be a good place to start your defense.