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Some Facts – Boating While Intoxicated (BWI)

Come spring and summer, all the fun-filled activities in and around LakeAustin and LakeTravis will begin. These two gorgeous lakes in the Austin, Texas region are a perfect picnic location to hang out with family and friends. Whether your kids love boating, or you want to have a ride on a  yacht, a quiet time fishing or reading a book by the water, you can do all this and much more on Lake Travis or Lake Austin.

But with fun and excitement, you also want to be safe and responsible. Holidays and picnics mean lots of good food and beverages, often including alcohol. Although not true for everyone, many people’s idea of fun involves drinking. Even though we all hope people drink in moderation and do not over indulge in alcohol, this is unfortunately not always the case, and most definitely NOT SAFE.Texas State Law states that it is illegal to operate a watercraft while intoxicated.. Nearly 300 people are arrested every year on Lake Travis and Lake Austin for boating under the influence of either alcohol or drugs.

Please keep in mindit is a crime to be boating while intoxicated. Under the Texas Penal Code, it is just as illegal as driving a vehicle under the influence. The law states you cannot operate a watercraft with bloodalcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 or higher. It is highly advisable not to drive/operate any watercraft while under the influence of alcohol. Here are some eye opening facts about driving a watercraft under the influence of alcohol:

  • First offense, you can be fined up to $2000 or jailed for 180 days
  • Second offense, a fine  up to $4000 and up to one year in jail
  • The fine and jail time increases with each subsequent offense
  • In certain cases, your license can get suspended.

Please make sure you do not drink and driveany watercraft. It is not only a CRIME, but risky not just you, but also for the people on the boat with you andfor other nearby boats as well!

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