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BUI and International Waters

Some individuals believe that they can take their boats out to international waters and drink without any penalties. National coastline borders only extend a few miles from the shoreline, which means that a person can easily pilot his or her vessel into international waters, where laws of the United States do not necessarily apply. However, this does not necessarily mean that individuals will not be charged with an alcohol-related offense.

If you are facing boating while intoxicated charges, contact Raleigh DWI defense lawyer Jim Black by calling 919-600-4609 for more information regarding your legal options.

Laws on the Open Seas

Within US jurisdiction, it is illegal to drink while operating a motor vehicle and criminal charges can be issued if a person is above the legal limits of intoxication while operating a boat. This is why some individuals enter international waters, thinking they can drink while boating without consequence. There are some complications in these cases, however, making it possible for a person to be prosecuted even in international waters. The following issues can affect a person’s legal status while in international waters:

  • There are still internationally agreed-upon laws
  • A boat may be prosecuted according to the laws of the country it was registered in
  • A boat may be prosecuted according to the laws of the country its flag is representing

It is not illegal for a law enforcement officer to arrest individuals on a boat that is in international waters if they are intoxicated while boating.

Contact Us

If you have been arrested for boating under the influence, there may be legal action available. For more information regarding your rights and options, contact the Raleigh DWI defense attorneys at the Law Office of Jim Black by calling 919-600-4609.

BUI and International Waters, Laws on the Open Seas

"Jim, I just wanted to thank you again for everything you did for me. I am very happy about the outcome and would recommend you to anyone and everyone who has a DUI case. Two things that stuck out the most is your patience and honesty, you wanted the best for me and that was obvious."

The Law Office of Jim Black

5 West Hargett Street #310
Raleigh, NC 27601

Phone: (919) 600-4609
Fax: (919) 834-4891


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