Nevada law prohibits operating or being in actual physical control of a vessel “under power or sail” while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. A person can be convicted of boating while intoxicated (BWI) (sometimes called "BUI" for "boating under the influence") for operating a vessel while:
In other words, a Nevada DWI conviction can be based on actual impairment or the concentration of alcohol or drugs in the boater's system.
The consequences of a Nevada BWI conviction depend on the circumstances of the case. But generally, the possible penalties are:
So, while Nevada's DWI laws provide more severe penalties for repeat offenders, prior BWI convictions generally don't increase the possible penalties for a subsequent BWI conviction.
A boater who causes the death of another person while operating a vessel under the influence and has at least three prior BWI convictions can be convicted of “homicide by vessel.” Homicide by vessel is a category A felony and carries ten years to life in prison.
The consequences of a Nevada BWI are serious, and the facts of every case are different. If you’ve been arrested for boating under the influence, get in touch with an experienced BWI lawyer. A qualified attorney can explain how the law applies to the facts of your case and help you decide on your best course of action.