Wyoming’s Boating While Intoxicated Laws

Read about the consequences of boating while intoxicated (BWI) in Wyoming.

Wyoming law prohibits operating or being in actual physical control a watercraft while intoxicated by drugs or alcohol. The term “watercraft” means “any contrivance used or designed primarily for navigation on water”—not just motorboats. (Wyo. Stat. Ann. § 41-13-101(a)(vii) (2016).) A person can be convicted of boating while intoxicated (BWI) for operating a watercraft while:

  • under the influence of drugs, alcohol, or a combination of the two “[t]o a degree which renders [the person] incapable of safely operating a watercraft,” or
  • having a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .1% or greater.

(Wyo. Stat. Ann. § 41-13-206 (2016).)

BWI Penalties

The consequences of a Wyoming BWI depend on the circumstances of the case. But generally, the consequences are:

  • Standard BWI. In Wyoming, most BWIs are misdemeanors and carry up to six months in jail and/or a maximum of $750 in fines. A judge can also suspend the boater’s operating privileges for up to two years.
  • BWI involving death. A BWI offender who causes the death of another person while boating under the influence can be convicted of “aggravated homicide by vehicle” and sentenced to up to 20 years in prison.

(Wyo. Stat. Ann. §§ 6-2-106, 41-13-216 (2016).)

HOW MUCH TIME WOULD YOU ACTUALLY SPEND IN JAIL?

Sentencing law is complex. For example, a statute might list a “minimum” jail sentence that’s longer than the actual amount of time (if any) a defendant will have to spend behind bars. All kinds of factors can affect actual punishment, including credits for good in-custody behavior and jail-alternative work programs.

If you face criminal charges, consult an experienced criminal defense lawyer. An attorney with command of the rules in your jurisdiction will be able to explain the law as it applies to your situation.

Talk to an Attorney

If you’ve been arrested for or charged with boating under the influence in Wyoming, get in contact with an experienced BWI attorney. The facts of every case are different. A good BWI attorney should be able to explain how the law applies to the facts of your case and help you decide on your best course of action.

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