Boating While Impaired in North Carolina
Boating is a favorite summer pastime in North Carolina. Especially in Charlotte, Huntersville, Cornelius, Davidson, and the Lake Norman area. Be careful, however, because similar laws concerning alcohol apply to boating as they do with the operation of a motor vehicle.
North Carolina Boating While Impaired LawIn North Carolina, NCGS 75A-10(b1) prohibits the operation of any vessel while underway on the waters of this State: (1) while under the influence of an impairing substance; or (2) after having consumed sufficient alcohol that the person has, at any relevant time after the boating, an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more. Additionally, NCGS 75A-10(b) prohibits a person from "manipulat(ing) any water skis, surfboard, nonmotorized vessel, or similar device on the water of this State while under the influence of an impairing substance." The violation of either Boating While Impaired or "Skiing While Impaired" is a Class 2 misdemeanor.
BWI v. DWIBoating While Impaired (BWI), also known as Boating Under the Influence (BUI), differs from Driving While Impaired in that it is not an implied consent offense. This means if you are charged with BWI, you do not have to consent to a chemical analysis, and a refusal to submit to a chemical analysis does not give rise to a civil driver's license revocation. While the police may request that you submit to a chemical analysis of your breath, the consent must be voluntarily given, with no coercion. A refusal, however, may lead the police to seek a search warrant for withdrawal of your blood.
Be Safe and Be SmartEnjoy your summer! Have fun boating, skiing, and jet skiing! But, be smart. Understand the law, know your rights, and exercise your rights. Be safe, too. You can have fun, but remember that your fun shouldn't come at a risk to you or others.