The Alcohol Boating Safety Act makes it unlawful to operate a watercraft on the public waters of the State of Mississippi while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or any other substance which has impaired a person’s ability to operate a watercraft.
- As a condition of operating a watercraft on the public waters of this state, the person operating the watercraft is deemed to have given consent to testing for the purpose of determining the alcoholic content of his blood.
- “Watercraft” is defined as any motorized vessel with a motor of twenty-five horsepower or greater used for transportation on public waters, and any personal watercraft (jet skis).
- “Public waters” is defined as all public waters over which the State of Mississippi has jurisdiction.
- Penalties for conviction under this law are:
- First conviction – Fine no less than $250.00 nor more than $1,000.00, or imprisonment in jail for not more than 24 hours or both. Violators must complete a boating safety course.
- Second conviction (within a five-year period) – Fine no less than $600.00 nor more than $1,000.00; and imprisonment not less than 48 consecutive hours nor more than one year or community service work for not less than ten days nor more than one year. The court shall order the violator not to operate a watercraft for one year.
- Third conviction (within a five-year period) – Fine no less than $800.00 nor more than $1,000.00; and imprisonment not less than thirty days nor more than one year. The court shall order the violator not to operate a watercraft for two years.
- Conviction of a fourth or subsequent violation (within a five-year period) is a FELONY OFFENSE. Fine no less than $2,000.00 nor more than $5,000.00; and imprisonment in the state penitentiary for not less than ninety days nor more than five years. The court shall order the violator not to operate a watercraft for three years.
Maritime Attorneys in the Gulf Coast of Mississippi
Remember that boating under the influence is not only dangerous for you, but also for your passengers and other drivers on the water. If you’ve been arrested or charged with a DUI while operating a boat in Mississippi (or any state), call us immediately to discuss how we can help. You may be eligible to have your criminal charges dismissed if certain requirements are met! Our team of attorneys has successfully handled cases like yours before; don’t hesitate to contact our office today!