In Minnesota, it is a crime for any person to operate or be in physical control of a motorboat on any lake or boundary water when: (1) the person is under the influence of alcohol; (2) the person is under the influence of a controlled substance; (3) the person’s alcohol concentration at the time, or as measured within two hours of the time, of driving, operating, or being in physical control of the motorboat is 0.08 or more; or (4) the person’s body contains any amount of a controlled substance listed in Schedule I or II, or its metabolite, other than marijuana or tetrahydrocannabinols. This crime is commonly referred to as boating while intoxicated or BWI.
A person who is found guilty of a BWI faces the same jail penalties as a person convicted of second-degree DWI under 169A.25 , third-degree DWI under 169A.26 , or fourth-degree DWI under 169A.27. There is no loss of driving privileges with respect to a motor vehicle, but a person who is convicted of violating the BWI laws is prohibited from operating a motorboat in Minnesota for a period of 90 days between May 1 and October 31, and it may extend over two consecutive years if necessary. See 86B.331, subdivision 1. A person operating the motorboat who refuses to submit to a lawful demand for a chemical testing is prohibited from operating a motorboat for a period of one year.
If you or someone you know has been charged with a BWI, call Minneapolis BWI defense attorney Robert J. Shane now for a free initial phone consultation and “The Best Defense” at (612) 339-1024.