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Hiring a BWI Lawyer for Boating While Intoxicated in Texas

The Law Firm of Andrea M. Kolski

Boating While Intoxicated (BWI) is a serious offense that carries heavy penalties. Much like driving under the influence, operating a watercraft while under the influence of alcohol or drugs is illegal. This law applies to any vessel, including yachts, fishing boats, jet skis, or any other type of watercraft. Hiring the right boating while intoxicated lawyer can make all the difference in your case. An experienced Texas BWI lawyer will know how to navigate the entire process. The consequences of a BWI charge can be severe, including hefty fines, loss of boating and even driving privileges, and potential jail time. The laws and penalties for BWI are different than Driving While Intoxicated or DWI in Texas. It’s important to remember that even if you’re on the water, safety and legal responsibilities should always be a priority.

Operating a boat or watercraft requires a high level of concentration and alertness. Therefore, there are certain substances that individuals should avoid to ensure that they navigate the water safely. Here are some substances that can impair an operator’s ability to safely manage a boat or watercraft:


Alcohol is one of the most common substances that boat operators are advised to avoid. It can impair judgment, balance, vision, and reaction times, making it dangerous for anyone operating a boat or watercraft. The effects of alcohol while operating a boat are similar to the effects while operating a motor vehicle. Learn more about Texas DWI laws here.

Prescription Medications

Some prescription medications can cause drowsiness or other side effects that can impair a person’s ability to operate a boat safely. It’s essential to read the labels and understand the side effects of any medication before operating a watercraft.

Illegal Drugs

Illegal drugs, such as marijuana, cocaine, or hallucinogens, can significantly impair a person’s ability to operate a boat. These substances can alter perception, motor control, and decision-making abilities, making them extremely dangerous for boat operators.

Over-the-counter Medications

Even some over-the-counter medications, like antihistamines or cold medicines, can cause drowsiness and slow reaction times. Always read the label and understand the potential side effects before operating any type of vehicle, including boats and watercraft.

Remember, the safety of you and others on the water is paramount. If you’re unsure whether a substance might affect your ability to operate a boat, it’s best to err on the side of caution and avoid operating the boat until the effects of the substance have worn off.

Texas Law and Penalties for BWI (Boating While Intoxicated)

In the state of Texas, boating while intoxicated (BWI) is taken very seriously. This is due to the potential dangers posed not only to the person operating the boat but also to other people on the water. The penalties for BWI are similar to those for driving while intoxicated (DWI).

First-time offenders can expect a fine of up to $2,000 and/or a jail sentence of up to 180 days. For a second offense, the penalties increase to a fine of up to $4,000 and/or a jail sentence of up to one year. A third offense carries a fine of up to $10,000 and/or a prison sentence of between 2 and 10 years.

Moreover, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department can also suspend the boat operator’s license for a period ranging from 180 days to 2 years. It’s worth noting that the penalties can be more severe if the boat operator caused an accident that resulted in serious injury or death.

If you are facing a BWI charge in Texas, it’s crucial to seek legal counsel. The Law Firm of Andrea M. Kolski is experienced in defending such charges and can help you navigate the legal process. Contact us today at 832-381-3430 for a consultation.

National Statistics on Boating While Intoxicated

Boating while intoxicated is a serious issue that has been causing numerous accidents and injuries across the United States. Here are some of the national statistics that highlight the gravity of this problem.

  • According to the U.S. Coast Guard, alcohol use is the leading known contributing factor in fatal boating accidents, accounting for 23% of deaths (2019 data).
  • In 2019, there were 4,168 recreational boating accidents that caused 613 deaths, 2,559 injuries, and roughly $55 million in property damage.
  • About 70% of fatal boating accident victims drowned. Of those drowning victims with reported life jacket usage, 86% were not wearing a life jacket.
  • Drunk boating is just as deadly as drunk driving. The effects of alcohol are exacerbated by the sun, wind, noise, vibration, and motion experienced during boating.

How Our Lawyers Can Help

Being charged with Boating While Intoxicated (BWI) is a serious legal issue that can have lasting consequences on your personal and professional life. It’s important to avoid hiring just any boating while intoxicated lawyer because experience counts! It is essential to hire a lawyer to navigate the complex legal process that follows such a charge. Here are several reasons why you should consider hiring a lawyer from The Law Firm of Andrea M. Kolski if you’ve been charged with BWI:

  • Understanding of the Law: Lawyers have a comprehensive understanding of the legal system, including BWI laws. They can explain the charges, the potential consequences, and the best possible defenses for your case.
  • Protection of Rights: An attorney ensures that your rights are protected throughout the legal process. They can shield you from police misconduct, violation of your rights, or unfair sentencing.
  • Experience in Negotiations: Lawyers are skilled negotiators. They can negotiate with the prosecution to reduce charges or penalties or even have the case dismissed entirely.
  • Representation in Court: If your case goes to trial, a lawyer will represent you in court, present your case effectively, and challenge the prosecution’s evidence.
  • Emotional Support: Facing a BWI charge can be traumatic. Having a lawyer by your side provides reassurance, enabling you to face the situation with more confidence.

At The Law Firm of Andrea M. Kolski, we strive to provide our clients with high-quality legal representation. If you are facing a BWI charge, don’t hesitate to contact us at 832-381-3430. We are here to help.

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The Woodlands, TX 77381

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