In New Jersey, many people do not realize that DWI laws and penalties apply to the operation of most water vessels, including jet skis. Each summer I represent many people accused of violating these laws who never knew that they could lose their ability to operate a motor vehicle for infractions on the water. In reality, State and local authorities have significantly increased their enforcement of these offenses, and penalties do in fact require a mandatory loss of both boating and driving privileges.
The boating laws of New Jersey are governed by New Jersey Statute Title 12, Chapter 7 and are enforced under the authority of the New Jersey State Police Marine Services Bureau. These laws are particular to boating, and can differ greatly from motor vehicle laws. For instance, law enforcement may stop any vessel for the purpose of checking for compliance with boating safety requirements, but very often this is simply a pretext to investigate whether the operator is under the influence of alcohol or drugs. In addition, the marine environment, and the unique factors which exist on the water, can all effect the evidence collected and observed, and can have a decisive impact on your case.
If you have been charged with operating under the influence on the water, or if you have any questions about the boating laws in New Jersey, give us a call today at (609) 294-8300 to schedule a free consultation.