The Handbook of Texas Boating Laws and Responsibilities
The Official Boating Handbook of the Texas Parks and Wildlife - Web Version
Table of Contents
Texas law prohibits anyone from operating a vessel while intoxicated (BWI). This includes the operation of any boat, sailboat, personal watercraft, water skis, sailboard, or similar device. Operators who have a blood alcohol content of 0.08% or greater are considered intoxicated.
Alcohol and drugs cause impaired balance, blurred vision, poor coordination, impaired judgment, and slower reaction times. Alcohol is a major contributor to boating accidents and fatalities.
Texas law establishes the following penalties for BWI.
- First conviction carries a fine of up to $2,000 and/or jail time of up to 180 days.
- Second conviction carries a fine of up to $4,000 and/or jail time of up to one year.
- Third conviction carries a fine of up to $10,000 and/or jail time of 2-10 years.
By operating a vessel on Texas waters, you have consented to be tested for alcohol and/or drugs if arrested by a law enforcement official. Refusal to submit to testing may result in the suspension of your vehicle driver’s license for at least 180 days.
Remember this simple rule: Don’t drink and boat!