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NJSA 12:7-46 Penalties for Operating Vessel Under the Influence - Boating DWI

Our office represents people charged with crimes and other offenses. We provide representation throughout New Jersey.  Criminal charges can cost you.   If convicted, you can face prison, fines, jail, Probation  and other penalties.  Don't give up!  Our Law Office can provide experienced attorney representation for criminal violations. Our website KennethVercammen.com provides information on criminal offenses we can be retained to represent people.

   The following is current criminal law plus amendments as of April. 2004: 12:7-46. Penalties for operating vessel under the influence

3. a. No person shall operate a vessel on the waters of this State while under the influence of intoxicating liquor, a narcotic, hallucinogenic, or habit-producing drug or with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.10% or more by weight of alcohol. No person shall permit another who is under the influence of intoxicating liquor, a narcotic, hallucinogenic or habit-producing drug, or who has a blood alcohol concentration of 0.10% by weight of alcohol, to operate any vessel owned by the person or in his custody or control.

As used in this section, "vessel" means a power vessel as defined by section 2 of P.L. 1995, c.401 (C.12:7-71) or a vessel which is 12 feet or greater in length.

A person who violates this section shall be subject to the following:

(1) For a first offense, to a fine of not less than $250 nor more than $400; and to the revocation of the privilege to operate a vessel on the waters of this State for a period of 12 months from the date of conviction and to the forfeiting of the privilege to operate a motor vehicle over the highways of this State for a period of three months.

(2) For a second offense, to a fine of not less than $500 nor more than $1,000; to the performance of community service for a period of 30 days, in the form and on the terms as the court deems appropriate under the circumstances; and to imprisonment for a term of not less than 48 hours nor more than 90 days, which shall not be suspended or served on probation; and to the revocation of the privilege to operate a vessel on the waters of this State for a period of two years after the date of conviction and to the forfeiting of the privilege to operate a motor vehicle over the highways of this State for a period of six months.

(3) For a third or subsequent offense, to a fine of $1,000; to imprisonment for a term of not less than 180 days, except that the court may lower this term for each day not exceeding 90 days during which the person performs community service, in the form and on the terms as the court deems appropriate under the circumstances; and to the revocation of the privilege to operate a vessel on the waters of this State for a period of 10 years from the date of conviction and to the forfeiting of the privilege to operate a motor vehicle over the highways of this State for a period of two years.

   Upon conviction of a violation of this section, the court shall collect forthwith the New Jersey driver's license or licenses of the person so convicted and forward such license or licenses to the Director of the Division of Motor Vehicles. In the event that a person convicted under this section is the holder of any out-of-State motor vehicle driver's or vessel operator's license, the court shall not collect the license but shall notify forthwith the Director of the Division of Motor Vehicles, who shall, in turn, notify appropriate officials in the licensing jurisdiction. The court shall, however, revoke the nonresident's driving privilege to operate a motor vehicle and the nonresident's privilege to operate a vessel in this State.

b. A person who has been convicted of a previous violation of this section need not be charged as a second or subsequent offender in the complaint made against him in order to render him liable to the punishment imposed by this section against a second or subsequent offender. If a second offense occurs more than 10 years after the first offense, the court shall treat a second conviction as a first offense for sentencing purposes and, if a third offense occurs more than 10 years after the second offense, the court shall treat a third conviction as a second offense for sentencing purposes.

c. If a court imposes a term of imprisonment under this section, the person may be sentenced to the county jail, to the workhouse of the county where the offense was committed, or to an inpatient rehabilitation program approved by the Director of the Division of Motor Vehicles and the Director of the Division of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse in the Department of Health.

d. In the case of any person who at the time of the imposition of sentence is less than 17 years of age, the period of the suspension of driving privileges authorized herein, including a suspension of the privilege of operating a motorized bicycle, shall commence on the day the sentence is imposed and shall run for a period as fixed by the court of not less than three months after the day the person reaches the age of 17 years. If the driving or vessel operating privilege of any person is under revocation, suspension, or postponement for a violation of any provision of this title or Title 39 of the Revised Statutes at the time of any conviction of any offense defined in this section, the revocation, suspension, or postponement period imposed herein shall commence as of the date of termination of the existing revocation, suspension or postponement. A second offense shall result in the suspension or postponement of the person's privilege to operate a motor vehicle for six months. A third or subsequent offense shall result in the suspension or postponement of the person's privilege to operate a motor vehicle for two years.    The court before whom any person is convicted of or adjudicated delinquent for a violation shall collect forthwith the New Jersey driver's license or licenses of the person and forward such license or licenses to the Director of the Division of Motor Vehicles along with a report indicating the first and last day of the suspension or postponement period imposed by the court pursuant to this section. If the court is for any reason unable to collect the license or licenses of the person, the court shall cause a report of the conviction or adjudication of delinquency to be filed with the director. That report shall include the complete name, address, date of birth, eye color, and sex of the person and shall indicate the first and last day of the suspension or postponement period imposed by the court pursuant to this section.    The court shall inform the person orally and in writing that if the person is convicted of personally operating a motor vehicle or a vessel during the period of license suspension or postponement imposed pursuant to this section, the person shall, upon conviction, be subject to the penalties set forth in R.S. 39:3-40 or section 14 of P.L. 1995, c.401 (C.12:7-83), whichever is appropriate. A person shall be required to acknowledge receipt of the written notice in writing. Failure to receive a written notice or failure to acknowledge in writing the receipt of a written notice shall not be a defense to a subsequent charge of a violation of R.S. 39:3-40 or section 14 of P.L. 1995, c.401 (C.12:7-83). If the person is the holder of a driver's or vessel operator's license from another jurisdiction, the court shall not collect the license but shall notify forthwith the director who shall notify the appropriate officials in the licensing jurisdiction.     The court shall, however, in accordance with the provisions of this section, revoke the person's non-resident driving or vessel operating privilege, whichever is appropriate, in this State.

e. In addition to any other requirements provided by law, a person convicted under this section shall satisfy the screening, evaluation, referral program and fee requirements of the Division of Alcoholism's Intoxicated Driving Programs Unit. A fee of $80 shall be payable to the Alcohol Education, Rehabilitation and Enforcement Fund established under section 3 of P.L. 1983, c.531 (C. 26:2B-32), by the convicted person in order to defray the costs of the screening, evaluation and referral by the Intoxicated Driving Programs Unit. Failure to satisfy this requirement shall result in the immediate forfeiture of the privilege to operate a vessel on the waters of this State or the continuation of revocation until the requirements are satisfied.

f. In addition to any other requirements provided by law, a person convicted under this section shall be required after conviction to complete a boat safety course from the list approved by the Superintendent of State Police pursuant to section 1 of P.L. 1987, c.453 (C.12:7-60), which shall be completed prior to the restoration of the privilege to operate a vessel which may have been revoked or suspended for a violation of the provisions of this section. Failure to satisfy this requirement shall result in the immediate revocation of the privilege to operate a vessel on the waters of this State, or the continuation of revocation until the requirements of this subsection are satisfied.

12:7-47. Reckless operation of vessel; penalties, fines 4. a. A person who disregards the rights or safety of others and operates a vessel on the waters of this State in a manner which unnecessarily interferes with the free and proper use of any waters, or which unnecessarily creates a risk of damage or injury to other craft therein, or to person or property, shall be guilty of reckless operation of a vessel and subject to a term of imprisonment not to exceed 60 days, or to a fine of not less than $50 nor more than $200, or both.

   On a second or subsequent conviction, a person guilty of reckless operation of a vessel shall be subject to a term of imprisonment not to exceed three months, or to a fine of not less than $100 nor more than $500, or both.

b. In addition to any other requirements provided by law, a person convicted under this section shall be required after conviction to complete a boat safety course from the list approved by the Superintendent of State Police pursuant to section 1 of P.L. 1987, c.453 (C.12:7-60), which shall be completed prior to the restoration of the privilege to operate a vessel which may have been revoked or suspended for a violation of the provisions of this section. Failure to satisfy this requirement shall result in the immediate forfeiture of the privilege to operate a vessel on the waters of this State, or the continuation of revocation until the requirements of this subsection are satisfied.

12:7-57. Refusal to submit to chemical test; revocation of privilege 9. a. A court shall revoke the privilege of a person to operate a power vessel or a vessel which is 12 feet or greater in length, if after being arrested for a violation of section 3 of P.L. 1952, c.157 (C.12:7-46), the person refuses to submit to the chemical test provided for in section 7 of P.L. 1986, c.39 (C.12:7-55) when requested to do so. The revocation shall be for six months unless the refusal was in connection with a second offense under section 3 of P.L. 1952, c.157 (C.12:7-46), in which case the revocation period shall be for two years. If the refusal was in connection with a third or subsequent offense under section 3 of P.L. 1952, c.157 (C.12:7-46), the revocation shall be for 10 years. The court shall also fine a person convicted under this section not less than $250, nor more than $500.

b. The court shall determine by a preponderance of the evidence whether the arresting officer had probable cause to believe that the person had been operating or was in actual physical control of the vessel while under the influence of intoxicating liquor, or a narcotic, hallucinogenic or habit-producing drug, whether the person was placed under arrest, and whether the person refused to submit to the test upon request of the officer. If these elements of the violation are not established, no conviction shall issue.

c. In addition to any other requirements provided by law, a person whose privilege to operate a vessel is revoked for refusing to submit to a chemical test shall satisfy the screening, evaluation, referral and program requirements of the Bureau of Alcohol Countermeasures in the Division of Alcoholism in the Department of Health. A fee of $40 shall be payable to the Alcohol Education, Rehabilitation and Enforcement Fund established under section 3 of P.L. 1983, c.531 (C. 26:2B-32), by the convicted person in order to defray the costs of the screening, evaluation and referral by the Bureau of Alcohol Countermeasures and the cost of an education or rehabilitation program. Failure to satisfy this requirement shall result in the immediate revocation of the privilege to operate a vessel on the waters of this State or the continuation of revocation until the requirements are satisfied. The revocation for a first offense shall be independent of a revocation imposed because of a conviction under the provisions of section 3 of P.L. 1952, c.157 (C.12:7-46); the revocation for a second or subsequent offense shall be concurrent with a revocation imposed because of a conviction under the provisions of section 3 of P.L. 1952, c.157 (C.12:7-46).

d. In addition to any other requirements provided by law, a person convicted under this section shall be required after conviction to complete a boat safety course from the list approved by the Superintendent of State Police pursuant to section 1 of P.L. 1987, c.453 (C.12:7-60), which shall be completed prior to the restoration of the privilege to operate a vessel which may have been revoked or suspended for a violation of the provisions of this section. Failure to satisfy this requirement shall result in the immediate revocation of the privilege to operate a vessel on the waters of this State, or the continuation of revocation until the requirements of this subsection are satisfied.

12:7-58. Work release program 10. a. A person who has been convicted of violating section 3 of P.L. 1952, c.157 (C.12:7-46), and who has been imprisoned in a county jail or workhouse in the county in which the offense was committed, shall not be released after commitment until the term of imprisonment imposed has been served. A person imprisoned in the county jail or workhouse may, at the discretion of the court, be released on a work release program.

b. A warden or other officer having custody of the county jail or workhouse shall not release a person until the sentence has been served, except that a person may be released by the court on a work release program. A person sentenced to an inpatient rehabilitation program may be released by the court, upon the petition of the treating agency, to an outpatient rehabilitation program for the duration of the original sentence.

c. This section shall not be construed to interfere in any way with the operation of a writ of habeas corpus, a proceeding in lieu of the prerogative writ, or an appeal.

CONCLUSION

   If charged with any criminal or court offense, immediately schedule an appointment with a criminal trial attorney. Don't rely on a real estate attorney, public defender or a family member who took a law class in school. When your life and job is on the line, hire the best attorney available.


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Kenneth Vercammen was the NJ State Bar Municipal Court Attorney of the Year and past president of the Middlesex County Municipal Prosecutors Association.

Criminal and Motor vehicle violations can cost you. You will have to pay fines in court or receive points on your drivers license. An accumulation of too many points, or certain moving violations may require you to pay expensive surcharges to the N.J. DMV [Division of Motor Vehicles] or have your license suspended. Dont give up! The Law Office of Kenneth Vercammen can provide experienced attorney representation for criminal motor vehicle violations.

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Our website provides information on traffic offenses we can be retained to represent people. Our website also provides details on jail terms for traffic violations and car insurance eligibility points. Car insurance companies increase rates or drop customers based on moving violations.

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