The Uber Water Missouri BWI Prevention Solution has Arrived!

Missouri BWI prevention appAcross the U.S. the impact of rideshare services like Uber and Lyft has been perhaps most notable in DWI prevention. It becomes almost a reflex to book a safe ride home for many who shrug off their fear of leaving their vehicle. Considering the alternatives, including the cost of a DWI, ignition interlock requirement and overall regret factor, a $20 Uber just makes sense. That’s probably why Missouri BWI prevention may have a new tool in its kit: a watercraft-sharing app.

Anchor, the Lake of the Ozarks answer to Uber, is providing safe, dock-to-dock transportation service for those who enjoy a little extra liquid adventures while on the lake. Considering the serious nature of a Missouri BWI and the success of land-based ridesharing apps, Anchor should be able to keep those intoxicated boating incidents down significantly.

A Missouri BWI and DWI both use blood alcohol concentration (BAC) levels to define the criminal offense (.08 percent BAC). At that level, a Missouri BWI offender will face:

  • Class B misdemeanor charge (first offense).
  • Class A misdemeanor (second offense).
  • Class D felony (third or higher offenses).
  • Felony charges if the BWI results in the death or serious injury of another.

At .15 BAC, it gets even more restrictive, and if you are convicted of more than one Missouri BWI, you could be ordered into a 24/7 alcohol monitoring program.

A day on the lake can seem like the ideal time to celebrate the great outdoors with friends and family, and maybe let loose a little too much. Keep in mind that a boat is still a vehicle and that people can be harmed just as easily on lakes, rivers, and other waterways as they can on our streets. With common sense and the safety of relying on services like Anchor, Uber or your designated driver, you can be sure to spend many more summers on the water, celebrating the best of times with those you love the most.

Ignition Interlocks for Maryland Boaters?

Boating under the influence in MarylandSummer in Maryland is paradise for boats and watercraft. There’s nothing better than spending the day on the water, celebrating the season with friends and family, and plenty of people take advantage of the beach, bay and other waterways throughout the state. When those celebrations include alcohol, however, the fun can quickly fade into an important life lesson – boating under the influence (BUI) is just as dangerous as driving under the influence (DUI) and the consequences can be deadly.

Currently, Maryland requires ignition interlock devices for all convicted drunk drivers, but not for drunk boaters. The two crimes are seen as separate violations in the eyes of the law and by the public – perhaps because the consequences are different. But, if you think about it, a person is still operating a vehicle (either on the road or on the water) while under the influence of alcohol. They’re dangerous either way we look at it, and more can be done to prevent the risks on the water.

A first-time BUI conviction carries similar jail time, fines and fees as a second-offense DUI, and a boating license can be revoked just like a driver’s license. Perhaps the biggest difference is that there isn’t an ignition interlock requirement for a BUI conviction, and maybe that’s a piece of the puzzle worth looking into, especially when 10 percent of boating accidents in Maryland are attributed to the use of alcohol.

In California and Minnesota, a BUI counts as a DUI, with the same type of consequences that increase with each conviction. Since Maryland already requires ignition interlock devices for all DUI offenders, requiring the devices for a BUI could reduce the alcohol-related boating accidents. Nobody looks forward to an ignition interlock requirement, and it sends a strong message that even on a boat, it is possible to lose your freedom to drive.

Michigan’s BUI Laws and Boat Safety Guidelines

drinking dui and boatingMichigan is well-known for its incredible lakes and summers filled with adventure on the water. As with any state that must manage a large number of boats and personal watercraft combined with adults who drink, Michigan has established its own Boating Under the Influence, or BUI laws. Much like the guidelines that define Driving Under the Influence (DUI) laws, there are certain expectations of everyone with the ability to legally operate a boat or personal watercraft in Michigan, especially when it comes to consuming alcohol.

According to Michigan’s BUI laws, a person must be of legal age to drink while operating a boat or personal watercraft, just as when operating a motor vehicle. In fact, Michigan’s BUI laws generally follow the same guidelines as its DUI laws, including the legal limit of alcohol that defines a person’s level of intoxication. At .08 BAC (Blood Alcohol Concentration), a person is considered legally intoxicated in all 50 states, and this includes a person who is drinking and boating. This also means that the same penalties for a DUI in Michigan apply to a BUI in Michigan – including fines, court costs, and the potential for an ignition interlock requirement on any vehicles driven, even if the violation occurred while operating a boat or watercraft.

The danger of operating a boat or watercraft while intoxicated are obvious, especially since about one-third of accidents on the water are attributed to intoxicated boaters. Michigan’s BUI laws are an example of how even a fun weekend on the lake can turn into a criminal offense, and can even affect a person’s life off of the water. The best way to enjoy a summer of fun in Michigan is to stay sober and enjoy the recreational activities, beautiful landscapes and a character of living all its own.

Boating and DUI

drinking dui and boatingEveryone knows how dangerous it is to drive a vehicle while intoxicated. Drinking alcohol not only lowers our inhibitions, making it more likely for us to engage in risky behaviors, but it also makes it more difficult for us to control our bodies. The host of consequences that result from that loss of control have led to states increasing their driving under the influence (DUI) laws throughout the years. But, operating a boat under the influence of alcohol is also a punishable crime in every state.

Boating and DUI is often handled similarly to DUIs that take place on dry land. There are some interesting differences to note, though. An important fact to remember is that many states will consider a boating DUI as a “priorable”. What this means is that if you are convicted of boating under the influence and get convicted of a DUI on land at a later date, the DUI will be considered a second offense. This results in harsher penalties for the offender. It also gets the individual labeled as a repeat offender. Repeat offenders often have a more difficult time navigating the system than first time offenders.

Another way boating and DUI differs from a DUI on dry land is that some states have a lower blood alcohol content (BAC) requirement for aquatic vehicles. Currently, every state has the BAC legal limit as .08 for land operations, but some places lower it to .05 for water vehicles. And, while many states may not be explicit in their legal language about what constitutes an aquatic vehicle, boats, water skis, aquaplanes, and other similar vehicles are included in the group.

About 34% of fatal boat accidents each year are due to people choosing to operate boats while under the influence of alcohol. Boats and DUI is not an uncommon combination, but in some ways it is more dangerous than dry land DUI. All the movement associated with being in a boat, as well as weather, water spray, and noise, make boating under the influence a more intense situation. And, since alcohol consumption affects your inner ear, should you fall into the water during a boating accident, you would be less likely to differentiate up from down, increasing the likelihood of drowning.

For many of us, boating is seen as a relaxing and fun activity. And, it is, as long as we keep the alcohol on the shore. Boats can do just as much damage as cars and trucks, causing accidents and deaths if the person operating the vehicle is not as attentive as necessary. Even when the operator is doing everything perfectly, accidents occur. The best decision is to probably only drink while on dry land and sitting in something that cannot move.