Pursuant to Mo. Rev. Stat. § 577.013, it is illegal to operate a vessel while intoxicated. Intoxication can occur due to the consumption of alcohol, drugs, or a combination thereof. Boating while intoxicated can be a misdemeanor or a felony offense, based on the person’s prior convictions for boating while intoxicated and various other aggravating factors.
In generally, boating while intoxicated is a Class B misdemeanor. However, it becomes a Class E felony if the person acts with criminal negligence to harm another in the course of boating while intoxicated. It is also a Class E felony if the person is a “persistent” boating offender, meaning that he or she has two prior intoxication-related boating convictions, or one prior intoxication-related boating conviction in which another person was injured or killed. As the number of a person’s prior convictions increases, so does the level of the charges and the potential penalties.
Nonetheless, even for a first-time misdemeanor boating while intoxicated conviction, the court may not suspend the sentence unless it places the person on probation for two years or, if the person’s blood alcohol content (BAC) was 0.15% or greater, unless the person successfully completes a court-approved treatment program.
It is also illegal to operate a vessel if you have a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08% or more under Mo. Rev. Stat. § 577.014. Boating with excessive blood content generally is a Class B misdemeanor, but the charge can increase to various felony level offenses if the individual has prior intoxication-related boating offenses. Given these circumstances, consulting with an experience criminal defense lawyer can be key to your ability to avoid these potentially harsh consequences. The attorneys at Benjamin Law Firm, LLC, has handled the legal representation of countless individuals in DWI, BUI, and traffic violation cases. We want to help you avoid as many of the repercussions of a criminal record as possible. Call our office at (816) 205-4125 to set up an appointment to speak with us today.