While most New Jersey drivers limit their drinking when they must drive home from a night out on the town, or call a cab when they’ve imbibed too much, many people do not extend the same caution on New Jersey’s waterways or off-road paths. But New Jersey DUI attorneys caution that operating a boat or ATV while intoxicated carries the same risks as driving, and could land you in trouble with the law.
In October, Clinton Township police arrested a New Jersey man after his ATV caught fire in a field by Route 626. The police determined that the driver, Ronald Phillips, had been drinking while driving the ATV, based on the smell of alcohol and his chemical testing results. Phillips was also driving with a suspended license, which compounded his offense. He was charged with a DUI and for driving while suspended. Both charges impose steep fees and could prolong Phillips’ suspension, based on his prior record.
Boating under the influence (BUI) carries similar penalties, New Jersey DUI attorneys warn. Last year, a fatal boating accident resulted in a BUI charge for New Jersey resident George Harrington. His boat crashed into another boat carrying five passengers, and his own passenger was thrown from the boat and killed in the collision. Police arrested Harrington on charges of drunk driving. These drunken driving penalties could be escalated in connection with the passenger’s death. This summer, another boater from Hopatcong was arrested after his boat hit a dock and crashed into the bank of a lake, sending him and his passenger to the hospital. The man’s blood alcohol concentration at the time of the crash was higher than the legal limit.
Operating a boat with a blood alcohol content of .08 or higher is an offense under N.J.S.A. 12:7-46. Convicted boaters could face heavy fines, license suspension of up to 12 months, and jail time of 30 days. New Jersey drunk driving lawyers say that the consequences of driving any motorized vehicle—boat, car, or ATV—while intoxicated are serious, and dangerous for the driver as well as anyone in the vicinity.
The New Jersey DUI attorneys at Helmer, Conley, and Kasselman offer legal aid to persons charged with drunk driving while operating a boat, car, or other motor vehicle. Contact our firm for a free, no-strings consultation.