Boating While Intoxicated

Every holiday in the summer the Dallas media sounds the alarm on boating fatalities, and/or drinking and boating. The dangers are real, don’t get wasted and drive a boat. Bring life preservers etc. However, like most local TV news the fear is exploited far beyond the reality.

Example headline from DMN- Texas Leads Nation In Boating Fatalities.

That is a true statement. Last year, Texas led the nation in boating related fatalities with 52. Texas Parks and Wildlife estimates that 1/3 of all boating accidents “involve” alcohol (not caused, mind you). Texas also has the most miles of inland water of any other state. Not even the Land of 1,000 Lakes compares to Texas. In perspective, Texas is a safe place to boat.

What is the law on BWI?

§ 49.06. BOATING WHILE INTOXICATED. (a) A person
commits an offense if the person is intoxicated while operating a
(b) Except as provided by Section 49.09, an offense under
this section is a Class B misdemeanor, with a minimum term of
confinement of 72 hours.

Safety Checks
How do game wardens and other law enforcement get on your boat? Do they need probable cause, reasonable suspicion, or to board? No.Texas has “safety checks” which allow law enforcement to board your boat without any reason.

§ 31.124. INSPECTION OF VESSELS. (a) In order to
enforce the provisions of this chapter, an enforcement officer may
stop and board any vessel subject to this chapter and may inspect
the boat to determine compliance with applicable provisions.

Contact Information