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Maryland Boating Penalties Will Increase This Summer

On Behalf of | May 2, 2024 | dui/dwi |

Boating under the influence (BUI) and boating while intoxicated (BWI) will come with stronger penalties under a bill sent to Maryland’s governor for signature.

The bill prohibits a person from operating a vessel on Maryland waters for up to two years if convicted of operating or attempting to operate a vessel while under the influence of alcohol. The time limit under existing law is, at most, one year.

If the violation results in the death of another, courts may prohibit convicted persons from operating a vessel on Maryland waters for up to five years.

The bill also requires the Department of Natural Resources (DNR), in coordination with the Natural Resources Police Force (NRP), to set up and maintain a database of individuals  prohibited from operating a vessel in Maryland waters.

Courts will provide information on offenders to keep the database updated. Currently, a judge can forbid someone from operating a vessel if they are convicted of boating while intoxicated, but there is no way to enforce that order.

The database will go into effect by October 1, 2025. It must be accessible to NRP officers in patrol vehicles.

If signed by the governor, the measure takes effect July 1, 2024.

The bill, Noah’s Law, is named after a young man who died in a June 2022 powerboat crash on the West River. Another young man was operating the boat when it crashed into a channel piling. The operator of the boat was sentenced to 18 months in jail for being under the influence of drugs and alcohol while operating the boat.

Lawmakers are tightening up on drunk driving. A law went into effect last October that counts charges related to operating under the influence when considering past DUI charges. The law includes charges in a person’s vehicle or vessel operating history to more accurately determine penalties for repeat offenders.

If you’re facing BUI or BWI charges, you should talk to a boating accident attorney. The attorneys at Maronick Law LLC have experience with Glen Burnie, Annapolis, Baltimore, Essex, Ocean City, Towson, White Marsh BUIs and BWIs. An Ocean City boating accident attorney can help if you are facing boating charges. The consultation is free.

Maronick Law LLC can with you remotely if you have access to Zoom. You can contact the law office at 410-881-4022 or via our website for a free consultation.



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