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Focused Defense Against Drunk Boating Charges

Many people feel a little more lax when it comes to drinking and boating than they are with operating while intoxicated or driving under the influence (OWI/DUI). With less traffic in a boat than on the streets and with purely recreational goals, drinking on a boat is more commonplace. Further, many people feel that the fines, jail time and other penalties are not as severe for boating while intoxicated as they are for OWI/DUI.

However, Iowa takes boating while intoxicated at least as seriously as it takes drunk driving. At Spellman Law, P.C., our attorneys defend clients against these charges. If you have been charged with boating while intoxicated, we will help you get the best results possible to minimize the fines, jail time, loss of driving privileges and possible embarrassment in your community.

Legal Nuances Of Boating While Intoxicated

Many people think of boating while intoxicated (BWI) laws as being basically the same as the laws around driving while intoxicated, but this is not always the case. There are some similarities and some important differences between BWI and DWI, including:

  • Standards for intoxication: For many years, the blood alcohol content (BAC) for BWI was significantly different from the BAC for driving while intoxicated. However, Iowa recently changed the BAC for boating while intoxicated charges to .08, which is the same as DWI.
  • Stops, searches and seizures: A stop of a boat on a waterway has its own unique considerations. In general, authorities are given a great deal more latitude on waterways in terms of stopping, searching and seizing vessels.
  • Penalties: BWI charges involve an automatic 48-hour jail penalty, as well as fines and the loss of boating privileges.

Our firm focuses our work as lawyers exclusively on criminal defense matters. This focus is a great benefit and source of relief for clients facing serious alcohol-related charges in Iowa.

Free Initial Consultations For All Clients | Call Today

We offer confidential, free initial consultations for every type of case and are available 24/7. Call our office in West Des Moines at 515-303-0885 or send us an email for more information. We take cases throughout central Iowa.