Wyoming's Boating While Intoxicated (BWI) Laws and Conviction Penalties

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

By , Attorney

In Wyoming, it's not only illegal to drive a car while under the influence of drugs or alcohol but also to operate a boat while intoxicated. This article covers Wyoming's boating while intoxicated (BWI) restrictions and the penalties you'll face for a BWI conviction.

Wyoming's Restrictions on Operating a Boat While Intoxicated

Wyoming law prohibits operating or being in actual physical control of a watercraft while intoxicated by drugs or alcohol.

How Wyoming Law Defines "Intoxicated"

A person can be convicted of boating while intoxicated for operating a watercraft while:

So, a person can be convicted of a BWI based on an excessive BAC level or actual impairment.

Wyoming's BWI Law Applies to Motorized and Non-Motorized Boats and Vessels

Under Wyoming law, the term "watercraft" means "any contrivance used or designed primarily for navigation on water"—not just motorboats. This definition makes it possible to get a BWI on rowboats, sailboats, and the like.

Wyoming's Boating While Intoxicated (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.

In deciding how to sentence a convicted boater, judges will typically consider the mitigating and aggravated circumstances specific to the case.

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 DWI/BWI attorney. The facts of every case are different. A good DWI/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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