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Boating Under the Influence

A boat crash in Miami Beach, Florida in September 2016 claimed the life of Miami Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez as well as two friends Emilio Jesus Macias and Eduardo Rivero. Toxicology reports from the Miami-Dade County Medical Examiner’s Office showed that Fernandez had a blood alcohol content of .147 percent as well as traces of cocaine in his system. The toxicology report for Rivero showed that he had cocaine in his system as well as a blood alcohol content below the Florida state legal limit 0f .08 percent. Macias also appeared to have alcohol in his system in amounts below the state legal limit. It is unclear who was driving the boat during the fatal crash, however the crash has newly shed to light the dangers of boating under the influence.

This tragedy sheds light on the laws prohibiting boating while intoxicated (BWI), boating while impaired (BWAI) or operating a boat while under the influence of drugs. In New York, there are several classifications of BWI. These violations encompass boating while intoxicated, boating while impaired by alcohol (BAC of .05-.07) or boating while impaired by drugs to any extent. In addition to these BWI offenses, in November of 2016 a law became effective in New York State that allows most impaired driving offenses to count as prior offenses when considering BUI sentencing.

The consequences for these crimes can range from a violation to a misdemeanour to as much as a class d felony depending on the type of offense and any prior offenses of this nature. Facing a BWI charge can be a challenging process and understanding the laws and the possible consequences can be confusing. Team Green Lawyers will provide you with not just a lawyer, but an entire legal team that is committed to helping you and protecting your future.