Arkansas law prohibits operating or being in actual physical control of a motorboat while intoxicated by drugs or alcohol. The term “motorboat” means “any vessel operated upon water and that is propelled by machinery, whether or not the machinery is the principal source of propulsion.” (Ark. Code Ann. § 5-65-102(5)(A) (2016).) A person can be convicted of boating while intoxicated (BWI) for operating a motorboat while:
(Ark. Code Ann. § § 5-65-102(4), 5-65-103 (2016).)
The consequences of an Arkansas BWI depend on the circumstances. But generally, a BWI is an “unclassified” misdemeanor, and the possible penalties are:
For purposes of determining whether a BUI is a second or subsequent offense, only prior BUI convictions that occurred within the past five years count. (Ark. Code Ann. § § 5-65-104, 5-65-111, 5-65-112 (2016).)
In addition to the other penalties, all BWI offenders generally must complete an alcohol education program. (Ark. Code Ann. § 5-65-115 (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.
If you’ve been arrested for or charged with boating under the influence in Arkansas, 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.