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What are the penalties for Boating Under the Influence in Rhode Island?

Posted by Matthew Marin | Aug 15, 2017 | 0 Comments

Recently, there have been a rash of alcohol related boating accidents in Rhode Island. From a fatal boating accident off Conimicut Point in Warwick to the two boaters who drowned in Johnsons Pond in Coventry, alcohol related boating incidents appear to be on the rise in 2017. We have represented a number of clients facing boating under the influence charges. The statutory scheme can be quite confusing and it can sometimes be difficult to determine exactly how severe the charges are that you are facing.

In Rhode Island, the penalties for boating under the influence can be extremely severe. Every person who operates a boat under the influence with a blood alcohol content in excess of 0.10 or whose blood alcohol content is unknown will, if convicted, but guilty of a misdemeanor. The Court will impose a mandatory fine, community service, and potentially a prison sentence of up to one year.

Cases in which another party is injured are treated much more harshly as felony criminal offenses. If another party is killed or sustains serious bodily injury, an individual convicted of driving under the influence will face a mandatory minimum jail sentence of three to five years and a mandatory fine of $1,000 to $5,000.

Most individuals arrested and charged with boating under the influence will be face misdemeanor criminal charges. However, an individual who is arrested and charged with boating under the influence who submits to a chemical test with breath test readings between 0.08 and 0.10 will only face a civil “violation” which is not a criminal offense. For a first offense violation, the accused would be subject to a fine of $100 to $250 fine, 10 to 60 hours of public community service, a Department of Environmental Management approved boating safety course, and have his or her right to operate a watercraft suspended for up to 45 days.

For those who are arrested and charged with boating under the influence with breath test results between 0.10 and 0.15 or those charged with boating under the influence after refusing to submit to a chemical test, they will be facing a misdemeanor criminal offense prosecuted in the Rhode Island District Court. A first offense BUI charge in Rhode Island can carry a fine of $100 to $300, 10 to 60 hours of community service, a Department of Environmental Management approved boating safety course, up to one year in state prison, and suspension of your right to operate a watercraft for three to six months. 

For more information on Rhode Island Boating Under the Influence charges and the potential penalties you may face, contact Attorney Matthew Marin for experienced legal counsel and representation.

About the Author

Matthew Marin

Attorney Matthew T. Marin is a highly skilled criminal defense lawyer with an outstanding track record in Rhode Island and Massachusetts. With expertise in DUI/DWI, drug offenses, domestic violence, and white-collar crimes, he is dedicated to providing personalized and effective representation for his clients. A "Rising Star" by Super Lawyers and a member of the National College for DUI Defense and the National Trial Lawyers Top 100, Attorney Marin is committed to staying current with the latest legal developments and giving back to his community through pro bono work.


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Attorney Marin Named A SuperLawyer for Ten Consecutive Years 2014-2023

Attorney Matthew Marin has been named a Rhode Island SuperLawyer for 10 consecutive years from 2014 thru 2023. Each year, no more than 2.5 percent of the lawyers in Rhode Island are selected by the Research Team at Super Lawyers to receive this honor. Super Lawyers selects lawyers who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement in their practice area.

Rhode Island Members of the National College for DUI Defense

Attorneys Matthew Marin and Kensley Barrett are both Rhode Island General Members of the National College for DUI Defense. Members represent some of the most experienced and cutting edge DUI defense attorney's throughout the Country. Nationwide, DUI laws are extremely complex and constantly changing and the College facilitates the exchange of innovative defenses throughout the Country.