When the weather starts to turn warm, many people enjoy spending time on the water with their family or friends. Believe it or not, The State of Arizona has many beautiful lakes where people enjoy recreational boating during the spring and summer months. However, this can become a dangerous activity when a boating accident occurs.
Some of the most common causes of a boating accident include the following:
• The operator of the vessel was inexperienced in handling the boat
• The person operating the boat made a mistake and hit another watercraft
• High winds or heavy rains contributed to the accident
• The boat was not properly maintained resulting in equipment failure
• Large wakes caused by another boat could result in the vehicle capsizing
• The person who was operating the vehicle was under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time
In Arizona, an individual can be charged with operating under the influence (OUI) if they were intoxicated while operating a personal watercraft. The Arizona Revised Statutes 5-395.01 allows a person to be convicted of an OUI offense if the following applies:
• The person was under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time they were operating a watercraft vehicle
• The individual had a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or more within two hours op operative a motorized watercraft
• Was under the influence of any drug as defined in the Arizona Revised Statute 13-3401
• The person had a blood alcohol concentration of .04 or more while operating a commercial watercraft
The State of Arizona Game and Fish, in concert with local law enforcement, have planned patrols and checkpoints on lakes between the months of March and September that yield a number of arrests every year. The lakes in the Phoenix area that have planned patrols are Lake Pleasant, Roosevelt lake, Apache Lake, Horseshoe Lake, Bartlett Lake, Saguaro Lake, and Canyon Lake. According to reports provided by the Lake Havasu Police Department, there was an increase in OUI arrests during Labor Day weekend in 2012. There were 20 OUI arrests made during this weekend, which was an increase from the 14 people who were arrested for an OUI offense during Memorial Day weekend.
The Penalties For an OUI Conviction in Arizona
The penalties for an OUI conviction in Arizona will most likely depend upon a number of factors. This includes the individual’s blood alcohol content (BAC) at the time of arrest. Age may also be a factor if the person was under 21 while consuming alcohol.
• First Offense With BAC of .08 to .15
• Up to six months in jail and/or a mandatory alcohol education class
• A fine of up to $2,100
• First Offense With BAC Over .15
• A minimum of 30 days in county jail
• A fine up to $2,500
If you have been arrested for suspicion of an OUI offense, please call our office immediately at (602) 307-0808. We offer free consultations with a DUI Defense lawyer who will review your case. If you would like to email us, please click here.