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New OUI Penalty for Arizona Boaters in Effect
Arizonans face more severe penalties for drinking and boating now that a new law has taken effect.

The law, which went into effect Sept. 18, does two things, according to Arizona Game and Fish Department law enforcement officer Mark Weise. First, a person who refuses to submit to a test for alcohol concentration or drug content while operating a watercraft now faces a civil sanction. Second, the fine has increased to $750 – more than double the original fine of $300.

Just as with highway vehicles, the legal blood alcohol concentration limit for operation of a motorized watercraft is 0.08. A blood alcohol concentration of 0.15 or more constitutes extreme operating under the influence (OUI). It is unlawful for a person to operate or be in actual physical control of a motorized watercraft that is underway within this state if the person has an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more.

The law, Arizona Revised Statute § 5-395.03, is the result of legislation sponsored by Sen. Bob Cannell and Rep. Jim Carruthers, both of Yuma; Sen. Linda Binder of Lake Havasu City; Rep. Meg Burton-Cahill of Phoenix; and Rep. Tom O’Halleran of Sedona.


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