Boating Under the Influence

Nevada Revised Statutes 400.410 and 400.450 make it against the law for any individual to operate or be in actual physical control of a vessel under power or sail on the waters of Nevada while being under the influence or having a blood alcohol concentration or breath alcohol concentration that is at least, or higher than, 0.08%. The laws against Boating Under the Influence in Nevada are very similar to the laws against Driving While Under the Influence of Alcohol, Marijuana, Illegal Drugs, or Prescription Drugs. Anyone suspected of operating a boating vessel while under the influence of drugs or alcohol will be required to submit to a chemical test upon the request of law enforcement or a warrant will be obtained to draw their blood for testing. Just as in the case of driving, a person having a blood alcohol concentration or breath alcohol concentration higher than 0.08% will be presumed to be too impaired to operate a boat or other water vessel.

In Nevada, most Boating Under the Influence cases are misdemeanor offenses. A BUI conviction cannot be used against a Defendant to enhance a new case for someone who is arrested and charged with a DUI. A conviction for boating under the influence, where no one is seriously injured or killed, can land the Defendant up to six (6) months in jail and up to $1,000 in fines.

However, if the boating under the influence allegation involves an accident wherein someone is substantially injured or killed, the State will charge the Defendant with a Category B Felony offense of Boating while Under the Influence with Substantial Injury or Death. This Defendant, if convicted, faces spending two (2) to twenty (20) years in the Nevada Department of Convictions and fines that can range from $2,000 to $5,000. Likewise, if a person has a prior conviction for boating under the influence, that caused serious injury or death, and receives a new case for boating under the influence, the Defendant will be charged with a Category B Felony. According to statute, the Defendant will then face two (2) years to fifteen (15) years in a Nevada prison and between $2,000 and $5,000 in fines if convicted.

For repeat offenders, the consequences increase dramatically. If a person has three (3) past BUI Convictions, and the State is alleging that the Defendant was Boating Under the Influence and caused death to another individual, he may be charged with a Category A Felony, which is the most serious offense the State of Nevada can bring against a person. If convicted of a Category A Felony, the Defendant faces spending twenty-five (25) years to life in prison. A Defendant may be eligible for parole after serving ten (10) years in a Nevada prison. In addition to prison time, a convicted felon may have trouble finding a residence and finding employment. A felon also loses the right to vote and own or possess firearms.

In BUI cases, there are mandatory minimum sentences for which a judge cannot depart. For instance, a sentencing judge in Nevada cannot grant probation or a suspended sentence for felony BUI convictions. A Defendant convicted of Felony BUI will more likely be kept in a minimum-security facility and will be away from violent offenders, but they are not eligible for community supervision and their sentence must be to prison. The Court may also consider aggravating factors when sentencing a Defendant for a BUI Conviction, like if there was a child on board the boat at the time the defendant was alleged to be boating while under the influence.

Unlike a DUI Conviction, a Las Vegas boating violation will not jeopardize a person’s driver’s license. As Nevada does not require a person to have a boating license to operate a boat, the Defendant will still be able to operate a boat and will not lose their boating privileges as a person would in a driving case.

It is very beneficial to have an experienced and knowledgeable Las Vegas Boating Under the Influence Lawyer in your corner, fighting for you or your loved one. The quicker you hire an experienced Las Vegas Boating Under the Influence Attorney, like Josh Tomsheck, the quicker he can begin working on your case. Las Vegas Boating Under the Influence Attorney Josh Tomsheck has over a decade of experience working with many different types of cases, ranging from misdemeanors to felonies with allegations of injury or death. Prior to working as a criminal defense attorney, he was a Chief Deputy District Attorney with the Clark County District Attorney’s Office. This gives him the unique perspective of knowing how a prosecutor will approach the case and knowing how to defend the allegations against you or your loved one. Mr. Tomsheck offers free consultations to discuss your unique situation or case, so contact him here today!

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