The Oklahoma state House of Representatives has passed a bill to strengthen the penalties for boating while intoxicated. This firm previously covered the problems with Oklahoma’s boating while intoxicated laws. You can access that coverage here.
House bill 1714 imposes new restrictions that compel the suspension of a person’s driver’s license. For a first offense, a license is suspended for 30 days. A second violation carries a 60 days suspension, and a third violation triggers a 90 day suspension. The bill also incorporates the license suspension features found in 47 O.S. Sec. 6-205, which can impose suspensions of 1 to 3 years. You can read the full version of the House bill here.
This new law will help authorities better manage drunken boating on Oklahoma lakes, but enforcement problems will persist, including questions about how lake patrol will measure the B.A.C. of boaters who refuse to submit to a breathalyzer.
The bill also failed to address the issue of “aggravated” boating while intoxicated. Motorists with a B.A.C. in excess of 0.15% face increased penalties whereas boaters with such a high B.A.C. concentration do not.
These issues become increasingly important in cases involving personal injuries caused by intoxicated boaters. Having a record of a person’s B.A.C. in close proximity to an accident can improve an injured person’s chances of recovering against the person who is responsible for their injuries, including bars that cater to boaters.
If you have questions about boating while intoxicated, contact the attorneys at Bryan & Terrill, 918-935-2777