Boating OWI

Iowa's Boating While Intoxicated laws are similar to Iowa's OWI drunk driving laws. If you've been charged with Boating OWI (operating a motorboat or a sailboat while under the influence of drugs or alcohol), you're facing many of the same consequences that you'd be facing for vehicular OWI.

You have a right not to be convicted of drunk boating (or any crime) unless the State can prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you satisfied all elements of the offense.

The elements of the offense of boating under the influence are:

  • That you operated a motorboat or a sailboat
  • On Iowa's navigable waters
  • While you:
    • Were under the influence of alcohol OR
    • While you were under the influence of drugs OR
    • While you had a BAC of .08 or higher.

Your Boating DUI defense lawyer will research any available options to get evidence suppressed in your case and help guide a jury toward any reasonable doubt.

Boating OWI Consequences

Deferred Judgments

Same as with OWIs

Boating DUI and Driver's License

You won't lose your driver's license if convicted of Boating While Intoxicated.

Test Refusals

If you refuse to submit to a chemical test (DataMaster or blood/urine test), the Court will prohibit you from driving a boat for a year.

You will be charged a "civil penalty" of $500 for refusing a chemical test on a first offense charge, $1000 on a second offense charge, and $2000 on a third offense charge.

First Offense Boating DUI

The first offense of drunk boating is a serious misdemeanor.

Whether your first OWI is a boating OWI or a drunk driving incident, if you are convicted, you will face a mandatory minimum of 48 hours in jail after your first. That 48-hour minimum can NOT be suspended.

The court cannot give you less than 48 hours in jail, but they can give you more -- you could be sentenced to jail for up to a year.

You will be fined $1000 plus surcharges. The Court may choose to waive up to half of the fine or assign you to complete community service hours.

You will be barred from driving a motorboat or sailboat for a year.

You will have to complete a substance abuse evaluation. If the evaluator recommends treatment, you will have to complete that treatment.

Second Offense Boating DUI

The second offense of drunk boating is an aggravated misdemeanor.

Whether your second OWI is a boating OWI or a drunk driving incident, if you are convicted, you will face a mandatory minimum of 7 days in jail after your first. That seven-day minimum can NOT be suspended.

The court cannot give you less than seven days in jail, but they can give you more -- you could be sentenced to jail for up to two years.

You will be fined $1500 - $5000 plus surcharges.

You will be barred from driving a motorboat or sailboat for two years.

You will have to complete a substance abuse evaluation. If the evaluator recommends treatment, you will have to complete that treatment.

Third Offense Boating DUI

The third offense of drunk boating is an aggravated misdemeanor.

Whether your third OWI is a boating OWI or a drunk driving incident, if you are convicted, you will face a mandatory minimum of 30 days in jail after your first. That 30-day minimum can NOT  be suspended.

The court cannot give you less than 30 days in jail, but they can give you more -- you could be sentenced to up to five years in prison.

You will be fined $2500 - $7500 plus surcharges.

You will be barred from driving a motorboat or sailboat for six years.

You will have to complete a substance abuse evaluation. If the evaluator recommends treatment, you will have to complete that treatment.

We can help you figure out what to do about your boating OWI charge in Des Moines, Polk County, Ankeny, Ames, Johnston, West Des Moines, Waukee, Saylorville, Bondurant, Altoona, Clive, Grimes, Pleasant Hill, Story County, Boone County, Marshall County, Dallas County, Jasper County, Madison County, Warren County, Marion County, Wapello County, Davis County, Ottumwa, Bloomfield, Iowa City, Council Bluffs, and the rest of Iowa.

If you need a boating DUI attorney and want to talk about your options with us, call now. (515) 491 6128.

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This blog post is for informational purposes only and should not be relied on as legal advice. Consult with a licensed attorney in your jurisdiction.  Reading this site doesn’t create an attorney-client relationship.  If you want to talk to us about representing you when you’re charged with an Iowa Boating DUI, please get in touch with us at (515) 491 6128, and we’ll set up a time to talk.

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