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Drunk Boating

Michigan summers mean lakes, boating and good times; especially on Lake St. Clair in Macomb County. There is nothing better than being on the water with a cold drink. But be responsible and consider Michigan's newest boating DUI / OWI laws.

In December of 2014 Governor Snyder signed into law stricter DUI / OWI penalties for operating a boat while under the influence of alcohol or with an unlawful blood alcohol level. The new law lowers the legal limit for unlawful blood alcohol content to .08, the same as Michigan drunk driving.

A person operating a boat, watercraft or jet ski while under the influence, intoxicated or impaired will face criminal charges. Like drunk driving charges, drunk boating charges can result in jail, probation, boating restrictions and steep fines.In Macomb County, the 42-2 New Baltimore Court, the 41-B Harrison Township Court or the 40th St. Clair Shores Court will likely be one of the Courts where charges will be heard.

A person who operates a boat, watercraft or jet ski under the influence, with a blood alcohol content of .08% or greater, or impaired, will likely be charged with a drunk boating offense. A felony charge would likely be brought if a drunk boating accident results in the serious impairment or death of an individual.

A first offense for operating a boat, watercraft or jet ski with a blood alcohol content of .08% or greater is a misdemeanor which carries penalties of up to 93 days in jail, 45 days community serviced, and a fine up to $500.00, plus court costs. The court may also order that the suspension of boating privileges for not less than 1 year or more than 2 years. The penalties for a second drunk boating offense within 7 years after being convicted of a first offense are increased to a maximum penalty of 1 year in jail and mandatory suspension of boating privileges for 2 years.

The Law Offices of Nickolas Daniels & Associates encourages anyone charged with a misdemeanor or felony in Macomb, Oakland or Wayne County to immediately contact and retain our office. Our knowledge, experience and strategic approach to handling criminal matters begins the moment you call.

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