Penalties for Boating While Intoxicated
Vermont law establishes the following penalties for BWI.
- Upon a first conviction, those convicted of boating while intoxicated will lose the privilege to operate any vessel (except for a non-motorized canoe or rowboat) for up to one year, must successfully complete an alcohol program at the person’s own expense, and be fined up to $750.
- Upon subsequent convictions, the fine is increased up to $1,000.
- A person boating while intoxicated who causes the death of another person will, upon conviction, be imprisoned for up to five years, fined up to $2,000, or both imprisoned and fined.
Vermont law has special provisions for operators under 21 years of age.
- It is unlawful for a person under 21 years of age who has a blood alcohol concentration of 0.02% or more to operate a vessel.
- For a first violation, the person will lose the privilege to operate any vessel (except for a non-motorized canoe or rowboat) for at least six months and must successfully complete an alcohol program at the person’s own expense. For subsequent violations, the privilege to operate a vessel will be lost for one year or until the person reaches 21 years of age, whichever is longer.
- A person under 21 years of age who refuses to submit to a breath test after a warning will be subject to the same penalties as for boating while intoxicated.