Residents of New Jersey understand that if they are under the influence of alcohol while behind the wheel, they could face serious penalties. Every state has an established legal limit - if your blood-alcohol level is above that limit, you can be charged with drunk driving. Penalties can include prison time, fines, and even loss of driving privileges.
But being intoxicated behind the wheel isn't the only way that you can be charged with drinking and driving. The charges can be just as serious if you are caught boating under the influence. If law enforcement on the river catches you drinking while operating a boat, you can face criminal charges.
Late last month, two New Jersey men were involved in a boating accident on the Navesink River. The boats collided and the driver of one powerboat was thrown into the water, likely pulled under by the current; he did not survive. People on board the other boat were also thrown into the river, but no serious injuries were reported.
According to the report, the driver of the other boat had been intoxicated when the collision occurred. While there is no information as to how law enforcement officials arrived at that conclusion, it is likely that a breath test and blood test were administered to determine the boat driver's blood-alcohol level. Apparently the driver was legally intoxicated because he was subsequently arrested the next day and charged with drunk driving.
No matter the situation, being charged with drunk driving has serious implications. If convicted, the conviction will go on the driver's permanent record. This could make it more difficult to find employment in the future.
Source: NY Daily News: "One dead, one charged with drunk driving after fatal late-night boat crash in New Jersey River," Philip Caulfield, July 25, 2011.