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Arizona Boating DUI / OUI – DUI on Boat – DWI at the Lake

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Arizona Boating DUI / OUI Laws

 In Arizona, it is a crime to operate a boat on any body of water while intoxicated with any drug or alcohol.

There are three names for this specific conviction, including a boating OUI, a BUI, or a boating DUI.

Many of the consequences for these charges are similar to those for a standard DUI while in a car. The differences are that you are in control of a watercraft rather than a vehicle. You must schedule a consultation with a defense attorney who can explain the options you have after an arrest.

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Arizona’s Boating DUI / OUI Laws and Penalties

What is a Considered a Watercraft in Arizona?

You must understand how Arizona defines a watercraft to know your legal rights after getting a DUI on a boat. ARS 5-395 provides the law that covers these terms.

Arizona Boating DUI / OUI under ARS 5-395

Under this statute, to receive a boating OUI or DUI, you must have physical control over a motorized watercraft. The police officers have to prove that you are under the influence of alcohol, a drug, or any prescription medication. Even slight impairment counts towards this crime.

A motorized watercraft under ARS 5-395 is one “propelled by machinery.” A defense attorney will be on your side when the government tries to find a way to make your boat fit the bill. Remember, however, the machinery in place does not have to be the primary method behind moving the watercraft.

Open Container Laws on a Boat

Arizona has specific laws in place to determine if you can have an open container of alcohol while on a boat. The statutes are under ARS 4-251.

Any passenger on your boat can have an open container of alcohol. If you are the operator of the watercraft, however, you will face a class two misdemeanor.

Penalties for a Regular OUI or DUI at the Lake

First-Time Offenses

A first-time offense regarding a boating DUI, OUI, or BUI carries with it the lightest consequences. These are class one misdemeanors, including:

  • 10 days to 6 months in jail
  • Possible suspension of up to 9 days of jail with substance abuse treatment
  • Fines ranging from $1,250 to $2,500
  • Additional substance abuse classes
  • Probation

Second-Time Offenses

The conviction is on your record for seven years for a regular OUI or DUI at the lake. A second offense will carry harsher consequences within that timeframe, though it is still a class one misdemeanor.

  • 90 days to 6 months in jail, including 30 consecutive days
  • Suspension of up to 60 days with substance abuse treatment
  • Fines of up to $3,000
  • 30 hours of community service
  • Additional substance abuse treatment
  • Probation

Third-Time Offenses

Third-time offenses carry different penalties within the seven-year timeframe mentioned above. This conviction is a class four felony with the following consequences.

  • Fines of at least $4,000
  • Minimum of 4 months in prison
  • Drug and alcohol screenings
  • Substance abuse treatment
  • Probation
  • Possible loss of boating license
  • Possible forfeiture of watercraft


Penalties for an Aggravated Boating DUI or OUI

An aggravated DUI on a boat, or OUI, can occur after three previous charges within 84 months. These crimes also happen when there is a passenger under 15 years old on the watercraft or if you caused death or injury.

You must note that after death or injury, you could face manslaughter charges as well. Penalties for only an aggravated boating OUI or DUI can come as a first offense felony or fourth offense misdemeanor.

First-Offense Felonies

The judge may charge you with a first-offense felony after three previous misdemeanor charges. Jail sentencing for this conviction is typically anywhere from four months to one year of incarceration.

Fourth-Offense Misdemeanors

The judge may choose to give you a fourth misdemeanor instead of a felony. Standard jail sentencing is harsher, including anywhere from eight months to two years of incarceration.

Penalties for an Extreme Boating OUI or DUI

An extreme DUI on a boat is possible when your blood alcohol concentration is anywhere from 0.15% to 0.199%. Penalties for each offense are below

.First-Time Offenses

A first-time offense of an extreme watercraft DUI is a class one misdemeanor. Penalties include:

  • 30 days to 6 months in jail
  • Fines up to $2,500
  • Probation
  • Substance abuse treatment

Second-Time Offenses

The same seven-year timeframe applies to extreme DUIs while on a boat. Second-time offenses are still class one misdemeanors with harsher consequences.

  • 120 days to 6 months in jail
  • 60 days in jail served consecutively
  • Fines up to $3,250
  • 30 hours of community service
  • Probation
  • Substance abuse treatment

Third-Time Offenses

Third-time offenses of an extreme DUI are aggravated convictions. These crimes are typically class four felonies with the following penalties.

  • At least 4 months in jail
  • Fines of at least $4,000
  • Substance abuse treatments
  • Probation
  • Forfeiture of your boat
  • Suspension of your boating licensure

Super Extreme Boating DUI and OUI Charges

A super extreme boating OUI or DUI occurs when your blood alcohol concentration is above 0.20%. First-time offenses are still misdemeanors, but they are some of the harshest in Arizona.

First-Time Offenses

As mentioned, a first-time super extreme DUI conviction is a class one misdemeanor. Strict penalties include:

  • 45 days to 6 months in jail
  • Fines of at least $2,750
  • Substance abuse treatment
  • Probation

Second-Time Offenses

Second-time offenses remain a class one misdemeanor even with a super extreme conviction. Penalties go up to:

  • 6 months of jail with at least 90 consecutive days
  • Fines of at least $3,750
  • Substance abuse treatment
  • Probation

Third-Time Offenses

The strictest law of all boating DUIs is a third-time offense of a super extreme BUI. These are class four felonies with harsh penalties, like those below.

  • At least 4 months in prison
  • At least $4,000 in fines
  • Probation
  • Substance abuse treatment
  • Forfeiture of watercraft
  • Suspension of boating licensures

What are the Possible Defenses for Boating OUIs and DUIs?

A defense attorney is ready to review all evidence to find a possible defense for your needs. These can include:

  • Lack of reasonable suspicion or probable cause prior to the stop or arrest
  • Inaccurate reports made by the police officers
  • Inaccurate blood test and breathalyzer results
  • No physical control of the boat
  • Denial of right to a lawyer

Contact your CHM Law Defense Team Today

Best Phoenix Boating DUI Lawyer, Boating OUI, DUI on a Boat AttorneyContact a Phoenix OUI lawyer immediately after you receive a DUI on a boat under any of the above circumstances. Convictions of this nature can affect you for the rest of your life.

Working with a legal team you can trust may secure a better outcome, including even a DUI dismissal of the charge. We are available now to help fight your OUI charges to potentially get your charges reduced to a simple misdemeanor, or even your DUI on water charge even dismissed!

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Client Testimonials

Arizona attorney Darin Colburn

“The calm in the middle of my storm…”

I, recently, consulted with Darin after my wife filed for divorce. He was referred to me by a friend whom I very much trust. Darin was the antithesis of the first two attorneys I consulted (who were matter-of-fact and had very little empathy about the fact that I was struggling emotionally with what was transpiring). From the first few minutes of speaking with Darin, it was obvious that he was very knowledgeable and skilled with divorce and family matters. While that was most important to me, the thing that made the difference was his calming, logical, and empathetic approach. He took the time to listen and empathize with me. He took the time to understand what I wanted to achieve through this process and laid out my options. After the consultation, I knew he would be my attorney if I had to pull the trigger. I, ultimately, didn’t have to engage Darin’s services due to a reconciliation with my wife. I hope I never have to go through that process again, however, if I do, I know beyond a shadow of a doubt who I will be hiring to represent me…Darin R. Colburn. Darin, thank you for caring and being more than an attorney.

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Divorce / Reconciliation Client
Attorney David Maletta

“There is NOBODY I would rather have defending me than David”

I hired David Maletta and it was the best decision of my life. His knowledge, genuine interest, overall attitude, and ability to connect with people is incomparable. I could talk about all of this at length. I COULD do all of that, but that wouldn’t do David justice. He first and foremost demonstrates his interest and genuine care for his client. Being in uncharted territory with a criminal charge and nowhere to turn, David’s presence and personality put all nerves at ease. I went through a jury trial with David beside me. The trial ran for 3 days and I spent a significant amount of time with David one-on-one. During this stressful time, he wanted to hear my input and thoughts on everything. David was incredible from the first day I met him. Not only is he a great attorney, but he is also a great person who cares about people and finding justice for his clients. He connects to the human side of people. I can’t put into words how much David cares about the individual in a case. When it comes to the courtroom, there is NOBODY I would rather have defending me than David.

Jacob - AVVO Review

DUI Defense Client
Arizona attorney Darin Colburn

“Because of Darin I got my daughter back”

Before I hired Darin I went through a total of 3 different attorneys in two different states fighting a jurisdiction battle, when my daughter was taken to a different state. It was a very difficult decision to switch attorneys at one of the most difficult, time sensitive and important times in my case, but I’m very glad I did. Upon receiving my file from previous attorneys Darin came very familiar with my case quickly. Like other people have explained he took the time to lay everything out and explain how the process was going to proceed and what to expect and continued to do this as new issues arrived. He is also very quick at responding to emails and phone calls. My case was getting close to trial as told by my previous attorneys, I did not want to go to trial as I know this is very costly (most attorneys will convince you that you need to.) Darin knew my situation, fought for what was right and got the results I wanted while avoiding a costly trial. He is extremely knowledgeable in the Child Support Guidelines as well. Because of Darin I got my daughter back. I would highly recommend him and would hire again for any future issues. Thanks Darin!

Chris - AVVO Review

Child Custody & Support Client
Attorney David Maletta

“I was found NOT GUILTY. Dave won the trial for me.”

Dave stayed with me while he pushed back and forth with Covid-19 and the delays with court. Once cited, the state basically decides that you’re guilty through the automatic suspension of your drivers license. Dave immediately took care of that problem and I never lost the privilege of driving. Dave took notes like crazy and was upfront about our uphill battle. I was also well aware that the plea deal that was given to us, was unacceptable and through Dave’s knowledge and experience I had put my trust in him to guide me to make the right decision on how to proceed. With Dave’s guidance I had decided that we needed to fight for something better than what the prosecutor was offering and Dave was 100 percent behind me on that decision. We knew the risks, be we also knew we had very little to lose based on the prosecutions stance. We decided to go to trial… Watching the prosecution and then watching Dave was night and day!! It was clear to the jury that the prosecution didn’t have their facts straight and were not addressing the facts that they could not address…There was a lot at stake for my personal life and my work life. I was found NOT GUILTY. Dave won the trial for me.

Gregory - AVVO Review

Criminal Defense Client
Arizona Attorney Timothy Hintze

“Tim was absolutely amazing and worked diligently”

I had an incident and was Given the catch-all charge. There wasn’t really anything I could do by myself to get out of it. Tim was absolutely amazing and worked diligently to ensure that I would have the best possible outcome from my case. Which he successfully achieved! As of right now I am on the path to having my case fully dismissed. A couple things that really helped me through this process was that Tim did an amazing job at was answering my questions. He was available almost anytime and would respond promptly when he got my emails. He was also very approachable and comforting to be around while we had in person meetings and especially when I was at the court house. I would trust him and the company he works for with any other cases in the future and as of right now they will be my first choice if I need a lawyer in the future.

Dylan - AVVO Review

Criminal Defense Client
Arizona Attorney Timothy Hintze

“Listens to every request that you make on a case”

I honestly just want to let it be known to any and everyone looking for an attorney on a case. Whether it be DUI, possession, or your every day to day traffic violations where you need representation attorney Tim Hintze is your man. You have to respect a man that listens to every request that you make on a case and he gets in there and gets it done. Tim has my respect as an attorney and being a well-rounded representer. From him being honest on the possibility and options for your case to him being easy to work and communicate with via over the phone or face to face Mr. Hintze is working it out.

Ben - AVVO Review

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