DUI & Boating

Ohio Boating Law and Boating Under the Influence

July 2nd, 2012

Man jumping a wave with his Personal Water CraftOhio is cracking down on impaired boaters following a report from the United States Coast Guard which says Ohio is tied with Illinois with 18 alcohol-related accidents last year and trailed only Florida and Wisconsin, which had 25 and 19 respectively.  Alcohol is the leading contributing factor in fatal boating accidents, and was the leading factor in 16 percent of recreational boating deaths last year, according to the Coast Guard. Alcohol was a factor in five boating deaths and 21 injuries in Ohio in 2011.  In response, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ Division of Watercraft is joining units throughout the nation this weekend in Operation Dry Water, an effort to increase or concentrate patrols in problem areas to watch for impaired boating.  According to news reports, this crackdown will include Alcohol Checkpoints on Ohio’s waterways, so be prepared.  The information below will give you a good overview of Ohio law as it relates to boating and boating under the influence.

Q. Is Boating Under The Influence A Crime In Ohio?

Boating Under the Influence is illegal in Ohio. 2001 Sub. S.B. 123, eff. 1-1-04 sought to unify the drunk driving provisions with Ohio’s boating laws.   O.R.C. 1547.11(A)(1)  to O.R.C. 1547.11(A)(6) prohibit a person from operating or being in physical control of a vessel underway or manipulating water skis, aquaplanes, or similar devices while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.  O.R.C. 1547.11(A)(1) is the impairment provision of the law, preventing operation or physical control while under the influence.  The law also has a provision preventing operation with a prohibited level of alcohol which it sets at the same prohibited level (.08) as the DUI/OVI law Unlike the DUI/OVI law, there are no high-tier provisions which apply to boating. A third section of the law prohibits operation or physical control with a concentration of certain controlled substances (marijuana, cocaine, amphetamine, et al.) or metabolites of the same.  This section of the law is identical to the DUI-drug provisions found in O.R.C. 4511.19(A)(1)(j).

Q. How Can A BUI Or Similar Offense Affect My Driver’s License?

Some important differences in Ohio’s BUI law, stem from the fact that Ohio does not require an operator’s license to operate a watercraft.  Therefore, no administrative license suspension provisions are in the law.  Instead, the chief of the Division of Watercraft gives written notice that you are prevented from operating or being in physical control of a watercraft (or from registering a watercraft) for one year from the date of the alleged violation.  Another key difference is that a fourth or subsequent BUI offense is not subject to felony enhancement.

Q. What Are The Penalties for Boating Under The Influence?

Penalties for Boating Under the Influence offenses are set forth at O.R.C. 1547.99 and are similar to those provided for DUI/OVI offenses.  Boating Under the Influence is a first degree misdemeanor and is subject to a minimum 3-day jail sentence and a maximum 6 months in jail.  The 3-day jail sentence can be served in a qualified driver intervention program.  The minimum mandatory fine for a first BUI offense is $150.  A second offense within 6 years carries a mandatory 10 day jail sentence, but the minimum mandatory fine is still $150.  A third offense requires a minimum of 30 days in jail. Subsequent amendments to the law, 2007 Am. Sub. S.B. 17, eff. 9-30-08, allows for forced blood draws for persons with two or BUI offenses.  A BUI offense can be used to enhance a subsequent DUI/OVI  offense. O.R.C. 4511.181(A)(6)-(7).  NOTE: The Ohio legislature is constantly “tweaking” the Ohio DUI and BUI laws, so please check with an attorney as these laws may have changed.

Q. Do I Need A License To Operate A Boat Or Watercraft In Ohio? 

You do not need a valid driver’s license to operate a boat or watercraft in Ohio.  Ohio law requires that boaters born on or after Jan. 1, 1982, must successfully complete either a boating course approved by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators or a proficiency exam approved by the Ohio Division of Watercraft in order to operate a boat powered by more than 10 horsepower.

Q. Are There Age Restriction In Ohio?

Children under 12 may not operate a personal watercraft, like a SeaDoo or Waverunner. Children ages 12-15 can operate a personal watercraft provided:

  • they are under the direct supervision of an adult, 18 or older, who is
  • onboard and
  • both the child and adult have education certificates.

Children 16 and older can operate a PWC as long as they have an education certificate. And children have to be 12 or older to operate a canoe or kayak without supervision.

Q. Am I Required To Register My Watercraft or Boat?

Registration is required for every recreational boat in Ohio, including canoes, kayaks, pedal boats, inflated boats and paddle boards. The United States Coast Guard recently designated float tubes as vessels so they must also be registered under Ohio law, the exception is float tubes with one air cell. Boat registrations are good for three years.  The Ohio Boat Operator’s Guide is available online at The Ohio Department of Natural Resources website also has information on NASBLA-approved classroom and online boater education courses.

Q. Am I Required To Wear A Lifejacket?

Ohio law requires that lifejackets be worn while riding a personal watercraft, while waterskiing or being towed on a similar device and for children younger than 10 on any vessel less than 18 feet in length. Personal flotation devices need to be available for all passengers whether they are on a powerboat, sailboat or a manually propelled watercraft.  According to U.S. Coast Guard regulations they need to be USCG approved and readily accessible.  They cannot be stowed away in a locked box.

Q. What Safety Equipment Is Required By Ohio Law?

The safety equipment required by law to be carried onboard depends first on the type of propulsion and then by style and length of the boat. Fire extinguishers, for example, are required on powerboats but not sailboats. The ODNR website has a complete list of all required safety equipment. And if you aren’t sure you have everything you need, the state offers free safety inspections year round.Ohio Department of Natural Resources splash facts

 

DUI attorney Charles M. Rowland II dedicates his practice to defending the accused drunk driver in DaytonSpringfieldKetteringVandaliaXeniaMiamisburgSpringboro,Huber HeightsOakwoodBeavercreekCenterville and throughout Ohio.  He has the credentials and the experience to win your case and has made himself the Miami Valley’s choice for DUI defense.  Contact Charles Rowland by phone at 937-318-1DUI (937-318-1384), 937-879-9542, or toll-free at 1-888-ROWLAND (888-769-5263).  For after-hours help contact our 24/7 DUI HOTLINE at 937-776-2671.  For information about Dayton DUI sent directly to your mobile device, text DaytonDUI (one word) to 50500.  Follow DaytonDUI on Twitter@DaytonDUI or Get Twitter updates via SMS by texting DaytonDUI to 40404. DaytonDUI is also available on Facebook and on the DaytonDUI channel on YouTube.  You can also email Charles Rowland at: CharlesRowland@DaytonDUI.com or write to us at 2190 Gateway Dr., Fairborn, Ohio 45324. “All I do is DUI.”

DUI and Ohio Boating Laws

March 29th, 2012

Boating Season Is Approaching Which Means Increased Watercraft Patrols.

Bass boat, aluminum, center console, on trailer

Boating Under the Influence is illegal in Ohio. 2001 Sub. S.B. 123, eff. 1-1-04 sought to unify the drunk driving provisions with Ohio’s boating laws.   O.R.C. 1547.11(A)(1)  to O.R.C. 1547.11(A)(6) prohibit a person from operating or being in physical control of a vessel underway or manipulating water skis, aquaplanes, or similar devices while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

O.R.C. 1547.11(A)(1) is the impairment provision of the law, preventing operation or physical control while under the influence.  The law also has a provision preventing operation with a prohibited level of alcohol which it sets at the same prohibited level (.08) as the DUI/OVI law Unlike the DUI/OVI law, there are no high-tier provisions which apply to boating. A third section of the law prohibits operation or physical control with a concentration of certain controlled substances (marijuana, cocaine, amphetamine, et al.) or metabolites of the same.  This section of the law is identical to the DUI-drug provisions found in O.R.C. 4511.19(A)(1)(j).

Subsequent amendments to the law, 2007 Am. Sub. S.B. 17, eff. 9-30-08, allows for forced blood draws for persons with two or BUI offenses.  A BUI offense can be used to enhance a subsequent DUI/OVI  offense. O.R.C. 4511.181(A)(6)-(7).  Some important differences in Ohio’s BUI law, stem from the fact that Ohio does not require an operator’s license to operate a watercraft.  Therefore, no administrative license suspension provisions are in the law.  Instead, the chief of the Division of Watercraft gives written notice that you are prevented from operating or being in physical control of a watercraft (or from registering a watercraft) for one year from the date of the alleged violation.  Another key difference is that a fourth or subsequent BUI offense is not subject to felony enhancement.

Penalties for Boating Under the Influence offenses are set forth at O.R.C. 1547.99 and are similar to those provided for DUI/OVI offensesBoating Under the Influence is a first degree misdemeanor and is subject to a minimum 3-day jail sentence and a maximum 6 months in jail.  The 3-day jail sentence can be served in a qualified driver intervention program.  The minimum mandatory fine for a first BUI offense is $150.  A second offense within 6 years carries a mandatory 10 day jail sentence, but the minimum mandatory fine is still $150.  A third offense requires a minimum of 30 days in jail.  

Contact Charles Rowland by phone at 937-318-1DUI (937-318-1384), 937-879-9542, or toll-free at 1-888-ROWLAND (1-888-769-5263). For after-hours help contact our 24/7 DUI HOTLINE at 937-776-2671.For information about Dayton DUI sent directly to your mobile device, text DaytonDUI (one word) to 50500.  Follow DaytonDUI on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/DaytonDUI or Get Twitter updates via SMS by texting follow DaytonDUI to 40404. DaytonDUI is also available on Facebook and you can access updates by becoming a fan of Dayton DUI/OVI Defense.  You can also email Charles Rowland at: CharlesRowland@CharlesRowland.com or write to us at 2190 Gateway Dr., Fairborn, Ohio 45324.

Boating Under the Influence in Ohio (BUI)

March 25th, 2011
A NYPD boat

Boating Under the Influence is illegal in Ohio. 2001 Sub. S.B. 123, eff. 1-1-04 sought to unify the drunk driving provisions with Ohio’s boating laws.   O.R.C. 1547.11(A)(1)  to O.R.C. 1547.11(A)(6) prohibit a person from operating or being in physical control of a vessel underway or manipulating water skis, aquaplanes, or similar devices while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

O.R.C. 1547.11(A)(1) is the impairment provision of the law, preventing operation or physical control while under the influence.  The law also has a provision preventing operation with a prohibited level of alcohol which it sets at the same prohibited level (.08) as the DUI/OVI law Unlike the DUI/OVI law, there are no high-tier provisions which apply to boating. A third section of the law prohibits operation or physical control with a concentration of certain controlled substances (marijuana, cocaine, amphetamine, et al.) or metabolites of the same.  This section of the law is identical to the DUI-drug provisions found in O.R.C. 4511.19(A)(1)(j).

Subsequent amendments to the law, 2007 Am. Sub. S.B. 17, eff. 9-30-08, allows for forced blood draws for persons with two or BUI offenses.  A BUI offense can be used to enhance a subsequent DUI/OVI  offense. O.R.C. 4511.181(A)(6)-(7).  Some important differences in Ohio’s BUI law, stem from the fact that Ohio does not require an operator’s license to operate a watercraft.  Therefore, no administrative license suspension provisions are in the law.  Instead, the chief of the Division of Watercraft gives written notice that you are prevented from operating or being in physical control of a watercraft (or from registering a watercraft) for one year from the date of the alleged violation.  Another key difference is that a fourth or subsequent BUI offense is not subject to felony enhancement.

Penalties for Boating Under the Influence offenses are set forth at O.R.C. 1547.99 and are similar to those provided for DUI/OVI offensesBoating Under the Influence is a first degree misdemeanor and is subject to a minimum 3-day jail sentence and a maximum 6 months in jail.  The 3-day jail sentence can be served in a qualified driver intervention program.  The minimum mandatory fine for a first BUI offense is $150.  A second offense within 6 years carries a mandatory 10 day jail sentence, but the minimum mandatory fine is still $150.  A third offense requires a minimum of 30 days in jail.  NOTE: The Ohio legislature is constantly “tweaking” the Ohio DUI and BUI laws, so please check with an attorney as these laws may have changed. This posting was written on 9-24-10.

Contact Charles Rowland by phone at 937-318-1DUI (937-318-1384), 937-879-9542, or toll-free at 1-888-ROWLAND (1-888-769-5263). For after-hours help contact our 24/7 DUI HOTLINE at 937-776-2671.For information about Dayton DUI sent directly to your mobile device, text DaytonDUI (one word) to 50500.  Follow DaytonDUI on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/DaytonDUI or Get Twitter updates via SMS by texting follow DaytonDUI to 40404. DaytonDUI is also available on Facebook and you can access updates by becoming a fan of Dayton DUI/OVI Defense.  You can also email Charles Rowland at: CharlesRowland@CharlesRowland.com or write to us at 2190 Gateway Dr., Fairborn, Ohio 45324.

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Blood & Urine Specimens O.A.C. 3701-53-05

December 16th, 2010
Arm venipuncture prior to fililng a vacutainer.
Image via Wikipedia

Ohio Administrative Code section 3701-53-05 applies to the collection of blood and urine specimens.  Section (A) requires all samples to be “collected in accordance with section 4511.19 (DUI statute), or section 1547.11 (Boating Under the Influence) of the Revised Code, as applicable.”

Section (B) states, “[w]hen collecting a blood sample, an aqueous solution of non-volatile antiseptic shall be used on the skin.  No alcohols shall be used as a skin antiseptic.”  A good place to start your DUI investigation is the first blood draw.  We have garnered the help of a legal-nurse-practitioner to find instances where wounds could have been treated in such a manner that alcohol was left on the skin.  We also fight hard to get the blood draw protocol from the hospital.  Often arguments can be made that the skin antiseptic does not meet the requirements of this administrative code.

Section (C) requires that, “[b]lood shall be drawn with a sterile dry needle into a vacuum container with a solid anticoagulant, or according to the laboratory protocol as written in the laboratory procedure manual based on the type of specimen being tested.”  Again, fight hard for the laboratory protocol and procedure manual so that you can see if the blood draw was done correctly.  You will often find important differences in how the nurse drew the blood and the way the OAC contemplates a blood draw.  Hire an attorney who knows what the guidelines are and can fight your case.

Section (D) sets forth the manner in which a urine sample can be collected.  “The collection of a urine specimen must be witnessed to assure that the sample can be authenticated.  Urine shall be deposited into a clean glass or plastic screw top container which shall be capped, or collected according to the laboratory protocol as written in the laboratory procedure manual.  Here, recent changes in the HIPPA privacy laws may have caused a change in the hosptial/laboratory protocol that will benefit your client.  Thorough discovery is required.  Often, you will be able to get this type of information only by getting it yourself.  More and more often, courts will allow you to raise these issues only if the prosecutor has been put on notice of a deficiency.

Section (E) describes what must be done to assure no tampering with the sample has occurred and section (F) requires that “[w]hile not in transit or under examination, all blood and urine specimens shall be refrigerated.”

Contact Charles Rowland by phone at 937-318-1DUI (937-318-1384), 937-879-9542, or toll-free at 1-888-ROWLAND (1-888-769-5263).

For after-hours help contact our 24/7 DUI HOTLINE at 937-776-2671.

Visit www.DaytonDUI.com, www.SpringfieldDUI.com, www.OhioDUIdefense.com, www.KetteringDUI.com, www.BeavercreekDUI.com, www.FairbornDUI.com,  www.VandaliaDUI.com, www.HuberHeightsDUI.comwww.MiamisburgDUI.com, www.XeniaDUI.com or www.CharlesRowland.com.  Immediate help is available by filling out the CONTACT form on any of these pages.

For information about Dayton DUI sent directly to your mobile device, text DaytonDUI (one word) to 50500.  Follow DaytonDUI on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/DaytonDUI or Get Twitter updates via SMS by texting follow DaytonDUI to 40404. DaytonDUI is also available on Facebook and you can access updates by becoming a fan of Dayton DUI/OVI Defense.

You can also email Charles Rowland at: CharlesRowland@CharlesRowland.com or write to us at 2190 Gateway Dr., Fairborn, Ohio 45324.

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O.A.C. 3701-53-02, Approved Evidential Breath Testing Instruments

December 9th, 2010
Coin operated talking breathalyzer
Image by frippy via Flickr

Ohio Administrative Code 3701-53-02(A) sets forth the approved instruments for evidential breath testing in Ohio.  It states,

(A) The instruments listed in this paragraph are approved as evidential breath testing instruments for use in determining whether a person’s breath contains a concentration of alcohol prohibited or defined by sections 4511.19 and/or 1547.11 of the Revised Code, or any other equivalent statute or local ordinance prescribing a defined or prohibited breath-alcohol concentration. The approved evidential breath testing instruments are:

  1. BAC DataMaster, BAC DataMaster K, BAC DataMaster cdm;
  2. Intoxilyzer model 5000 series 66, 68 and 68 EN; and
  3. Intoxilyzer model 8000 (OH-5).

O.A.C. 3701-53-02(B) lists the approved testing instrument for violations of  R.C. 1547.11, Ohio’s prohibition against boating while intoxicated.  O.R.C. 1547.11(A)(1)  to O.R.C. 1547.11(A)(6) prohibit a person from operating or being in physical control of a vessel underway or manipulating water skis, aquaplanes, or similar devices while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.  Only the Intoxilyzer 8000 has been approved pursuant to this section.  Section (B) states,

(B) The instruments listed in this paragraph are approved as additional evidential breath testing instruments for use in determining whether a person’s breath contains a concentration of alcohol prohibited or defined by section 1547.11 of the Revised Code, or any other equivalent statute or local ordinance prescribing a defined or prohibited breath alcohol concentration. The approved evidential breath testing instrument is:

  1. Intoxilyzer model 8000 (OH-2).

O.A.C. 3701-53-02(C) limits breath testing to deep lung or alveolar air samples.  This section can be used by skilled attorneys to show that the sample given was not deep lung alveolar air, but was contaminated with residual mouth alcohol.  Using this type of a defense will require an experienced attorney and a competent expert witness.  Section (C) states,

(C) Breath samples of deep lung (alveolar) air shall be analyzed for purposes of determining whether a person has a prohibited breath alcohol concentration with instruments approved under paragraphs (A) and (B) of this rule.

O.A.C. 3701-53-02(D) and (E) incorporate the manufacturers’ recommendations on use of the breath testing machines and place the burden of adopting procedure on the Director of Health.  These sections provide as follows,

(D) Breath samples using instruments listed under paragraphs (A)(1), (A)(2) and (B) of this rule shall be analyzed according to the operational checklist for the instrument being used and checklist forms recording the results of subject tests shall be retained in accordance with paragraph (A) of rule 3701-53-01 of the Administrative Code. The results shall be recorded on forms prescribed by the director of health. (E) Breath samples using the instrument listed under paragraph (A)(3) of this rule shall be analyzed according to the instrument display for the instrument being used. The results of subject tests shall be retained in a manner prescribed by the director of health and shall be retained in accordance with paragraph (A) of rule 3701-53-01 of the Administrative Code.

CONTACT US VIA ANY METHOD PROVIDED BELOW! Visit www.DaytonDUI.comwww.SpringfieldDUI.com,www.OhioDUIdefense.comwww.KetteringDUI.com,www.BeavercreekDUI.comwww.FairbornDUI.com,  www.VandaliaDUI.com,www.HuberHeightsDUI.comwww.MiamisburgDUI.comwww.XeniaDUI.com orwww.CharlesRowland.com.  Immediate help is available by filling out the CONTACT form on any of these pages.  For information about Dayton DUI sent directly to your mobile device, text DaytonDUI (one word) to 50500.  Follow DaytonDUI on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/DaytonDUI or Get Twitterupdates via SMS by texting follow DaytonDUI to 40404. DaytonDUI is also available on Facebook and you can access updates by becoming a fan of Dayton DUI/OVI Defense.  You can also email Charles Rowland at: CharlesRowland@CharlesRowland.com or write to us at 2190 Gateway Dr., Fairborn, Ohio 45324. Contact Charles Rowland by phone at 937-318-1DUI (937-318-1384), 937-879-9542, or toll-free at 1-888-ROWLAND (1-888-769-5263). For after-hours help contact our 24/7 DUI HOTLINE at (937) 776-2671.