Hot Springs can definitely live up to its name during the summer months, which is why this time offers the perfect opportunity for you and your family and/or friends to escape the heat by going boating. Part of relaxing out on the water might include enjoying a couple of cold drinks. Yet while you are entitled to enjoy yourself in this manner, keep in mind that you are still prohibited from operating any sort of motorcraft while intoxicated. Many of those that have come to us here at the Tapp Law Firm have learned too late that this also includes motor boats.
When determining when you may be too drunk to driver your boat, the state applies the same standard that it does to drunk drivers. According to Section 5-65-103 of the Arkansas Code of Criminal Offenses, that standard is a blood-alcohol concentration of .08 percent (that limit decreases to .02 percent if you are under the age of 21). It should be known, however, that even having a BAC lower than the legal limit does not necessarily mean that you cannot be charged with boating while intoxicated. On the contrary, you could face such a charge if law enforcement officials believe that your actions are impaired to the point of you endangering others.
There is, however, one distinct different between the driving and boating while intoxicated laws in the state. You (and your passengers) are typically not allowed to have an open container of alcohol in a motor vehicle with. Having an open container on a boat, however, does not give law enforcement officers probable cause to assume that you are drinking it. You can learn more about avoiding drunk driving charges by continuing to explore our site.