West Virginia law prohibits operating a motorboat, jet ski, or other motorized vessels while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. A person can be convicted of boating under the influence (BUI) for operating a watercraft while:
In other words, you can get a BUI based on actual impairment or BAC.
The consequences of a West Virginia BUI depend on the facts of the case. But generally, BUI penalties are:
- First offense. A first-offense BUI is a misdemeanor and generally carries one to 60 days in jail and $100 to $500 in fines.
- Second offense. A second-offense BUI is a misdemeanor and generally carries six months to one year in jail and possibly $1,000 to $3,000 in fines.
- Third offense. A third-offense BUI is a felony and generally carries one to three years in prison and possibly $3,000 to $5,000 in fines.
- BUI involving injury. A BUI involving "bodily injury" to another person is a misdemeanor and generally carries one day to one year in jail and $200 to $1,000 in fines.
- BUI involving death. Depending on the circumstances, a BUI involving death to another person can be a misdemeanor or a felony. If the offense is a misdemeanor, the defendant will face 90 days to one year in jail and $500 to $1,000 in fines. However, if the BUI involving death is a felony, the offender will be looking at one to ten years in prison and $1,000 to $3,000 in fines.
Of course, penalties may vary depending on the specific circumstances of the case and the offender.
Talk to an Attorney
If you've been arrested for or charged with boating under the influence in West Virginia, get in contact with an experienced BUI attorney. The facts of every case are different. A good BUI 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.