Boating and Alcohol: The Laws
It is illegal in the state of New Mexico to operate any boat, or to manipulate any waterskis, surfboard or similar device while under the influence of alcohol or controlled substances.
In New Mexico, a person is considered to be boating under the influence if:
- They have a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) level of 0.08 or more.
- However, even operators with a lower BAC level can be considered under the influence and can be prosecuted if their actions provide evidence of intoxication.
Aggravated Boating While Under the Influence
A person who has a BAC level of 0.16 or higher, and causes bodily harm to a person as a result of unlawful operation of a motorized boat is evidence of aggravated boating while under the influence.
In New Mexico, a person convicted of operating a boat while under the influence will be subject to the following penalties:
On the first conviction:
- A fine of up to $500 and/or imprisonment for up to 90 days.
- Requirement to complete a boating safety course.
On a second or subsequent conviction:
- A fine of up to $750 and/or imprisonment for up to 364 days.
Note: Any person convicted of aggravated boating while under the influence will be subject to more severe/additional penalties.
Any person operating a motorized boat on New Mexico waters shall be deemed to have given consent to chemical tests of his or her blood or breath or both, to determine if they are under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol, if asked to do so by a law enforcement officer.