Boating While Ability Impaired by the Use of a Drug

June 21, 2024


New York Boating While Ability Impaired by the Use of a Drug

If you or someone you know was recently charged with Boating While Ability Impaired by the Use of a Drug, contact DWI Team Defense Attorneys’s experienced DWI attorneys now. This charge can lead to serious consequences upon conviction. Because of the potential for harsh penalties, you need an experienced lawyer to aggressively defend you. At Nave DWI Defense Attorneys, our attorneys are dedicated to defending you and protecting your rights. Contact us now for a free case evaluation.

What Is BWAI?

Boating is a great leisure activity to enjoy with family and friends. Residents all across New York enjoy boating during the summer months. All boaters though should be aware of state laws regarding boating while impaired or intoxicated by alcohol. Boating while ability impaired (BWAI) applies to boat operators impaired by alcohol. Operating a boat with a BAC (blood alcohol content) level between 0.05% and 0.07% is considered impaired boating. Evidence of the boat operator’s impairment can be used against him or her to prove BWAI occurred. This evidence can take many forms, including police officer observations or alcohol chemical tests (like a breathalyzer test). Penalties for BWAI include:

  • A fine of up to $500;
  • 6-month suspension of boating privileges; and
  • Up to 15 days in jail.

BWAI: Drugs

Like the basic BWAI charge, a BWAI: Drugs charge applies to impaired boaters. However, this charge applies specifically to boaters impaired by drugs, not including alcohol. Again, like a BWAI, evidence of drug impairment can be proven through various forms of evidence. A boat operator impaired by drugs could face the following penalties:

  • Misdemeanor conviction resulting in a criminal record;
  • Up to 1 year in jail;
  • Maximum fine of $1,000; and
  • Privilege to operate a boat revoked for up to 1 year.


There is an important difference between BWAI charges (both the basic charge and the BWAI: Drug charge) and BWI. Boating while intoxicated (BWI) applies to boaters intoxicated by alcohol. Because boats are considered vehicles under New York law, a BWI charge is similar to a DWI charge. Intoxication means that the boat operator had a BAC level of 0.08% or more. Like BWAI charges, many forms of evidence can be used against a boater to prove his or her intoxication. Possible penalties for a BWI conviction are the same as BWAI: Drugs conviction:

  • Up to 1 year in jail;
  • Maximum fine of $1,000; and
  • Privilege to operate a boat revoked for up to 1 year.

Call Reputable BWAI Lawyers Now

Alcohol and drug-related vehicle operation offenses should never be taken lightly, including a BWAI: Drugs charge. This is a serious offense that can lead to jail time and fines, among other penalties upon conviction. Were you recently charged with a BWAI: Drugs or related charge? If so, contact the experienced New York DWI attorneys at Nave DWI Defense Attorneys. Our firm only handles DWI-related cases, which gives our lawyers a great deal of experience in this legal area. We strive to ensure your best possible results in court. To speak with someone for free about your charge, call Nave DWI Defense Attorneys today at 1-866-792-7800 or visit us online.

DISCLAIMER: The exclusive purpose of this article is educational and it is not intended as either legal advice or a general solution to any specific legal problem.  Corporate offices for Nave DWI Defense Attorneys are located at 432 N. Franklin Street, Suite 80, Syracuse, NY 13204; Telephone No.: 1-866-792-7800.  Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.  Attorney Advertising.

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