New Jersey law prohibits operating a vessel while under the influences of drugs or alcohol. The term “vessel” includes vessels that are “temporarily or permanently equipped with machinery for propulsion” or 12 feet or greater in length. (N.J. Stat. Ann. § § 12:7-46, 12:7-71 (2016).) A person can be convicted of boating under the influence (BUI) for operating a vessel while:
(N.J. Stat. Ann. § 12:7-46 (2016); State v. DiCarlo, 67 N.J. 321 (1975).)
The consequences of a New Jersey BUI conviction depend on the circumstances of the case. But generally, the possible penalties are:
For purposes of determining whether a BUI is a second or subsequent offense, only BUIs that occurred within the past ten years count.
All convicted boaters must comply with the screening, evaluation, and referral requirements of the Intoxicated Driving Program (IDP) and complete a state-approved boating safety course.
(N.J. Stat. Ann. § 12:7-46 (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.
The consequences of a New Jersey BUI 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 BUI 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.