Officers Crack Down On Boating While Intoxicated In Missouri

The Missouri Highway Patrol and Department of Conservation just announced that they arrested four people over the weekend on suspicion of drunken boating. Law enforcement officials also revealed that five people were arrested on felony drug charges during a special enforcement effort that recently took place on the Niangua River in Dallas and Laclede counties and Table Rock Lake in Stone County. The arrests were the result of an enforcement saturation and sobriety checkpoint on Saturday.

The sweep yielded substantial results, with the highway patrol reporting 13 misdemeanor drug violations, 15 minors in possession violations, one supplying alcohol to a minor violation, eight non-moving summonses and 80 warnings.

Though boating and beer might sound like a normal summer weekend treat, the fact is that Missouri law prohibits boating while intoxicated (BWI). The operation of any vessel while intoxicated due to alcohol or any combination of alcohol, controlled substances, or drugs is illegal in the state and can be punished severely.

Missouri law states that a person is intoxicated if that person has a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08% or more, based upon a chemical analysis of breath, blood, or saliva. Those convicted of boating while intoxicated are guilty of a Class B misdemeanor upon a first conviction. In addition, those convicted will be required to complete and pass an approved boating safety course. After a second conviction, a person is guilty of a Class A misdemeanor. Three or more BWI convictions will mean that a person will be found guilty of a Class D felony. Finally, if someone is boating while under the influence and causes the death or serious injury of another person, a felony conviction will result.

Just like with driving a vehicle, those operating a boat on Missouri waters are deemed to have consented to be tested for alcohol or drugs if so requested by a law enforcement official. If you refuse to be tested, you will be subject to arrest and punishment. If you are arrested for BWI, you will be searched, handcuffed, taken to jail, photographed, fingerprinted, and bonded.

After that, the case will move forward towards full prosecution at which point you’ll need the help of an experienced Missouri DWI attorney. If you find yourself in need of a Missouri DWI defense lawyer capable of aggressively protecting your interests, contact our St. Louis DWI law firm today at (314) 863-0500.

Source: “Four drunken boating arrests on Missouri waters,” by Robert Cronkleton, published at