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Penalties for boating while intoxicated in New York

During the summer months, many New Yorkers enjoy getting out on the water. A day on the boat is a great way to soak up some sun and enjoy water activities. For many, a day on the boat also means grilling and enjoying some adult beverages. While consuming alcohol on a boat is legal, consuming an amount that puts a person above the legal limit then operating a boat in not legal. Thus, individuals could face charges for boating while intoxicated if he or she is suspected of committing such a violation.

According to article 4 section 49 a of New York State Navigation Law, it is unlawful for a person to operate a vessel if he or she has a BAC of 0.008 percent or higher in their blood, breath, saliva or urine. Additionally, it is unlawful for a person to operate a vessel while in an intoxicated state no matter what his or her BAC is.

A violation of this law is considered to be a misdemeanor. This crime could be punishable by imprisonment of up to one year in jail and a fine between $500 and $1,000. If the accused has a previous charge for operating a boat with intoxicated, he or she could face a class E felony charge, which is punishable by imprisonment that is established by penal law and a fine between $1,000 and $5,000.

While it is a great way to unwind and enjoy the outdoors, drinking while boating can be a risky situation. Those facing charges for operating a boat while intoxicated should understand they have criminal defense options. By taking action, the accused could help reduce or even dismiss the charge against them, helping them avoid harsh penalties.

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James L. Riotto
Criminal Defense Lawyer

James L. Riotto is an accomplished criminal defense attorney serving clients in New York. With an extensive background in law enforcement and criminal prosecution, his approach to each case is unique and informed by years of experience with the New York criminal justice system. As a graduate from Albany Law School and before going on to start his own practice, James worked at the Albany County District Attorney's Office, where he helped prosecute many DWI offenses. His inside knowledge of the tactics used to gain convictions provides him with a particular advantage when defending against DUI and other criminal charges.

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Adam Staier
Of Counsel

About Attorney Adam Staier has spent the last seven years practicing criminal defense law throughout upstate New York and the Capital Region. He began his legal career through internships in civil law, indigent legal representation and federal energy law regulation. Finding a passion in criminal law, Mr. Staier held internships handling both prosecution and defense…

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