Over the Memorial Day Holiday almost forty arrests were made in Missouri for Boating While Intoxicated, or BWI. The majority of arrests were made at The Lake of the Ozarks. Arrests were also made in Miller and Morgan Counties.
The legal limit for BWI is .08 in both Kansas and Missouri, the same threshold used for DUI, DWI, and OUI cases in both states.
According to the Missouri Highway Patrol, Troopers made nearly 200 DWI arrests statewide over the holiday weekend. This number does not include DWI arrests made by Municipal Police Officers or County Law Enforcement.
In the Kansas City Metro Area, BWI arrests are usually made by the Missouri State Water Patrol. In a typical scenario, a Water Patrol Officer will be watching for unusual behavior, such as excessive wake near the shore, erratic operation, or safety violations (not enough life jackets, running lights not functioning, etc.). They will then approach you on the water, many times with a Preliminary Breath Test device (PBT). I have also handled cases where the Water Patrol Officer had my client attempt Field Sobriety Tests on the boat! These tests are extremely difficult to perform on land, let alone on the deck of a watercraft.
As of the date of this post there is no Drivers License penalty for receiving a BWI, however a First Offense is a Class B Misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in jail and a $500.00 fine. A Second Offense is a Class A Misdemeanor.