Driver's License Q&A: Drunk Boating

Jerry Hopkins heads the Michigan Driver’s License Restoration Division at Hills Law Office and for 30 years worked at the Michigan Secretary of State office overseeing driver’s license litigation. Jerry answers driver’s license questions in this Q&A series reprinted from the Kalamazoo Gazette.
Q: I was arrested for drunk boating. Will it affect my driver’s license if I’m convicted?

A: A conviction for drunk boating will not affect your driving privileges.
You could have been charged with one of two “drunk boating” crimes. Both are criminal misdemeanors. The charge of operating a vessel while under the influence of intoxicating liquor (OVUIL) is the more serious and is punishable with up to 45 days community service, a fine of between $100 and $500, and imprisonment for up to 93 days. The penalties increase with a second conviction within 7 years of the 1st — up to a $1,000 fine, up to 90 days community service and imprisonment for up to 1 year. A third conviction within 10 years can be charged as a felony and can result in imprisonment for up to 5 years.
If you refuse a breath test you will have your boating privileges suspended for 6 months for the first conviction. If you are caught operating a vessel while your boating privileges are suspended the vessel you were operating (even if it’s not your own) will be impounded for not less than 30 days no more than 120 days. You should contact an attorney at once to protect your boating privileges.

If you have any questions about Michigan’s driver’s license laws or how to restore a suspended or revoked Michigan driver’s license, Contact Hills Law Office today.


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