Operating a Motorboat While Intoxicated

In Indiana, just like it is illegal to drive an automobile while intoxicated, it is also illegal to operate a motorboat while intoxicated (BWI). Attorney Mario Massillamany is an experienced criminal defense lawyer who possesses both the knowledge and skill set necessary to defend against such serious charges. If you or someone you know is searching for such a lawyer, please see the bottom of this article for Mr. Massillamany’s contact information. Otherwise, continue reading for a detailed explanation on the implications of BWI charges. 

The first important issue to know is what exactly is considered a motorboat.  Under Indiana law, a motorboat includes all watercraft propelled by an engine or other mechanical means.  Additionally, any sailboat that has a motor and any other personal watercrafts are also considered motorboats.

Operating a motorboat with a BAC of .08%, while having a controlled substance in the person’s body, or while intoxicated is considered a Class C misdemeanor.  This offense could result in imprisonment for up to sixty days and a fine of up to $500.  It is a Level 6 felony if the person has a previous conviction for BWI or it results in serious bodily injury to another.  This offense could result in imprisonment for a term between six months and two and a half years as well as a fine of up to $10,000.  Finally, a BWI offense is a Level 5 felony if it results in the death of another.  This offense could result in a term of imprisonment between one year and six years with a fine of up to $10,000.  The advisory sentence is for three years.

One final important thing to note about the law on BWI in Indiana is that a narrow defense exists that might apply to some people.  In Indiana, it is a defense to BWI that the person accused consumed the controlled substance under a prescription or by order of a practitioner in the course of their professional duties.

Remember to always drink responsibly.


Mario Massillamany is a founding partner of Massillamany & Jeter LLP, a full-service law firm serving central Indiana.  For more information on this topic, please contact Mr. Massillamany at (317) 432-3443 or by e-mail at: mario@mjattorneys.com.


This article is not intended to serve as legal advice.  Should you have questions about this topic, you should consult with a licensed lawyer.

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