In Arizona, you cannot operate a motorized watercraft while you are impaired to the slightest degree by alcohol, drugs, or marijuana. Having a medical marijuana card is not a defense to an OUI charge involving impairment.
A boating DUI in Arizona can be charged if you are found to be operating a motorized boat or watercraft while you are impaired by alcohol, marijuana, or any other drugs.
This offense has similar penalties to a DUI charge. If you are facing this type of charge, you should schedule a consultation with the Shaw Law Firm to learn about your legal options.
Definition of a Motorized Watercraft
The OUI or BUI statute in Arizona is found at ARS §5-395. Under this statute, you can be charged with an OUI or BUI when you are operating or have actual physical control of any type of motorized watercraft in Arizona when you are impaired to the slightest degree by alcohol, marijuana, or other drugs.
Under ARS § 5-301, a motorized watercraft includes any type of watercraft that has a propulsion system using machinery regardless of whether it is the primary means of propulsion. This means that you can get a BUI or OUI when you are slightly impaired and operating or in control of most types of personal watercraft in addition to motorboats.
Penalties for a Boating OUI / DUI on a Boat in Arizona
The penalties you might face for a BUI or OUI will depend on your criminal record and whether any aggravating factors were present. If you have prior DUI, BUI, or OUI convictions within the past 84 months, the penalties will be more severe.
Similarly, if you had someone under the age of 15 with you on the watercraft, the penalties will be harsher.
Finally, if your BAC for alcohol was above 0.15% within two hours of operating your watercraft or being in actual control of it, you will face more severe penalties.