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Drink and Driving Boat Lawyers

One of the best aspects of living in Sydney is our vast expanses of beaches and the opportunities for adventure that they provide. People take their boats out daily for various reasons, including fishing, skiing, and simply enjoying the coastline. Boating is a popular social activity among Sydney residents. This implies that many people will enjoy a few cold beers or a bottle of wine while on their boats or at the beach, especially on hot summer days.

Drink and Driving Boat Lawyers Sydney

However, if you enjoy boating, you must know the alcohol regulations to avoid getting into trouble. For example, the Marine Safety Act of 1998 makes it illegal to operate a boat under the influence of alcohol. However, there are legal restrictions on how much alcohol can be in a person’s system when using a boat, just as there are when driving a car. The limit varies based on the person’s age and whether the boat is used for personal or commercial purposes.

Laws On Drinking And Driving Boats

It is well known that driving a boat while under the influence of alcohol is banned in Sydney. Although the legal limit for most people is 0.05 per cent, many drivers are obliged to have a zero-alcohol limit when driving. This disqualification applies to any vehicle powered by an engine or motor that you can drive or ride on. 

The Impact of a Driver’s Licence 

You must first obtain a marine licence before driving a boat in Sydney. This licence is awarded under marine laws, distinct from those governing road transport. As a result, different rules apply. Generally, your marine licence will not be affected if your road driver’s licence is taken away for driving after consuming an alcoholic beverage. In other words, even if your driver’s licence has been suspended, you can still operate a boat.

Drink And Driving Boat

Even while a road licence suspension will not affect your marine licence, this does not imply that you are free to drink and drive a marine craft. However, the legislation prohibiting drunk driving on roads also prohibits drunk driving on water. According to the legislation, it is illegal to drink and drive. However, it does not limit the law to highways or land because public safety on the sea is as vital as on land. As a result, it is illegal to operate a maritime vehicle when intoxicated. This includes not only boats but also jet skis and other watercraft.

You should also be aware that when you’re out on the water, the same alcohol limitations apply. As previously stated, most people operating a recreational marine vehicle must have a blood alcohol level of less than 0.05 per cent. Therefore, the alcohol reading in commercial cars must be zero. Consequently, you will be obliged to appear in court, and your marine licence will be suspended if you are breath tested by the police and found to be operating a marine vessel over the legal limit.

Penalties The Court Can Impose

Novice Range PCA (operating a vessel under the age of 18 years) Above 0.00 but below 0.02 $1,100 fine 

3 months licence disqualification 

$2,200 fine 

6 months licence disqualification 

Special Range PCA (operating a vessel under the age of 18 and commercial operators) Between 0.02 and 0.049 $1,100 fine 

3 months licence disqualification 

$2,200 fine 

6 months licence disqualification 

Low Range PCA  Between 0.05 and 0.079 $1,100 fine 

3 months licence disqualification

$2,200 fine 

6 months licence disqualification 

Mid Range PCA Between 0.080 to 0.149  $2,200 fine 

9 months imprisonment 

6 months licence disqualification 

$3,300 fine 

12 months imprisonment 

12 months licence disqualification 

High Range PCA Between 0.150 and above  $3,300 fine 

18 months imprisonment 

12 months licence disqualification 

$5,500 fine 

2 years imprisonment 

2 years licence disqualification

Are You Charged With Drinking and Driving A Boat?

Contact us to discuss your options if you have been charged with driving a boat or other marine vessel while drunk. We will conduct a thorough case evaluation to determine your rights and choices. 

Please call Platinum Lawyers on (02) 8084 2764 if you require legal advice or representation in any legal matter.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How many drinks can I have and drive?
– While you’re out on your boat, you can’t have more than two standard drinks in the first hour and no more than one standard drink every hour after that, for a maximum of three hours.

2. Will I get a criminal record for boating under the Influence?
– Yes, it is! The offence of operating a Boat under the influence can be punished by heavy fines and even imprisonment.

3. What is the alcohol limit for driving a boat?
– While operating a boat, you’re allowed by law to have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.00 mg/100 ml. That means drinking wine or beer might make you legally drunk while operating your boat.

4. How long after drinking can I drive NSW?
– After drinking alcohol, it will take approximately 10 hours for your blood to be clear of the drug. According to the recommended guidelines, you shouldn’t drive after consuming 7 drinks and a drink is defined as 0.5 litres of alcohol per hour. One drink is less than 15 ml (125 mg) of alcohol per hour.

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