Can Cops Arrest Me for Boating Recklessly?

California Injury Attorneys
California boat accident lawyer

Call your California boat accident lawyer if you have been involved in any sort of collision on the water.

Just like with a car, there are laws governing the use of boats in the state of California. As a result, boating recklessly or boating under the influence of drugs/alcohol can get you in serious legal trouble. If you have had an interaction with boating police, or suffer an injury while boating around Los Angeles, contact your California boat accident lawyer.

Boating Violations in California

The police are normally looking for the same sort of reckless or erratic behavior in boats that might cause them to pull over a car. They are watching out for dangerous boating or people who seem to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Some things that police officers may stop your boat for include the following:

  • Excessive or unsafe speeds, especially in contained waterways or where there is heavy traffic
  • Boating too close to swimmers, divers, or other boaters
  • Failure to visibly display current registration
  • Running into another vessel
  • Interacting inappropriately with wildlife from your boat
  • Unusual driving of your boat, including swerving, inconsistent speeds, or boating dangerously close to land, other vessels, or any other object
  • Partaking in any boating activities between a tow boat and whatever it is towing
  • Creating too much wake in an area where the wake may be dangerous for others or their property
  • Crossing closely behind another vessel to experience its wake
  • Disregard for the right of way of other boats or vessels
  • Lastly, failure to comply with equipment laws like lights or life jackets

The police officers may also look for other visible signs of reckless behavior or intoxication. Unsafe use of skis or other water sport equipment may raise red flags for officers. Further, they will look out for littering or any open use of drugs or alcohol.

Just like with cars, it is illegal to operate a boat, watercraft, or other water equipment with a blood alcohol concentration of greater than 0.08 percent. For non-recreational vessels, that threshold is lower at 0.04 percent. If you have suffered injury by someone that you suspect may have been boating under the influence or any other similar action, contact a California boat accident lawyer right away.

Legal Punishment for Boat Accidents

Boating accidents are investigated similarly to automotive wrecks. The police, insurance companies, and other involved parties will try to determine who is at fault. This investigation may look into things like intoxication, negligence, or dangerous behavior. The police will question everyone involved, and administer field sobriety tests, breath tests, or blood tests as necessary.

The punishments for a BUI (boating under the influence) are similar to those for a DUI. They may include fines, probation, or even a jail sentence. Call your California boat accident lawyer if you have been in any sort of collision on the water.

Winning California Boat Accident Lawyer

California Injury Attorneys are a motivated group of lawyers located in Los Angeles. We offer free consultations, so the way we receive payment is by making sure you receive compensation. Contact us online, or give us a call at (323) 999-HELP. Our office hours are 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM, but we are available 24/7 to take your call.

The best thing to do is avoid breaking any of California’s boating laws, which you can read more about here. If you suffer and injury as a result of someone of breaking any of those laws, consult with an attorney as soon as possible. We have highly skilled and motivated attorneys with a lot of experience. Do not hesitate to reach out for assistance anytime you need a California boat accident lawyer. Contact California Injury Attorneys today! 


The information on this blog is for general information purposes only. Nothing herein should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.