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You are looking at a preview of what’s in the Rhode Island Boat Ed Course. Feel free to look around, but you’ll need to register to begin progress toward getting your Rhode Island Certificate of Boating Safety Education.

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BWI Enforcement

Rhode Island law establishes penalties for boating while intoxicated. Penalties are set according to the Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) that is detected.

On a first conviction for offenders with a BAC of 0.08% but less than 0.10%, the penalties are:
  • $100-$250 fine
  • Right to operate a vessel suspended for up to 45 days
  • 10-60 hours of community service
  • Required attendance at a boating safety course
  • $500 boating safety assessment fee
On a first conviction for offenders with a BAC over 0.10% but less than 0.15%, the penalties are:
  • $100-$300 fine and/or imprisonment for up to one year
  • Right to operate a vessel suspended for up to three to six months
  • 10-60 hours of community service
  • Required attendance at a boating safety course and/or an alcohol/drug treatment class
  • $500 boating safety assessment fee
On a first conviction for offenders with a BAC of 0.15% or greater, the penalties are:
  • $500 fine and/or imprisonment for up to one year
  • Right to operate a vessel suspended for three to six months
  • 20-60 hours of community service
  • Required attendance at a boating safety course and/or an alcohol/drug treatment class
  • $500 boating safety assessment fee

Operating a vessel while operating privileges are suspended carries additional penalties, including imprisonment and loss of operating privileges for two additional years.

Any convicted offender who had a child under 13 years of age on board the vessel may be imprisoned for up to one year. This imprisonment cannot be deferred or suspended.

An operator under 21 years of age who is convicted of BWI or for refusing to submit to chemical testing (see below) also may have his or her motor vehicle driver’s license suspended for one year, lose the right to operate a vessel for up to an additional six months, and have the vessel’s registration suspended.

Subsequent convictions within a five-year period carry higher fines and other severe penalties, including imprisonment for up to five years and seizure of the offender’s vessel.

By operating a vessel on Rhode Island waters, you have consented to be tested for alcohol and/or drugs if requested by a law enforcement official. Refusal to submit to testing carries an automatic fine of $300, a $700 assessment fee, up to 60 hours of community service, and loss of boating privileges for one year. Fines and penalties will increase substantially with subsequent offenses.