Limestone County deputies arrested a man this week for operating a boat while intoxicated. I can only assume the guy isn't a listener to On the Dock with Rick Smith, or he'd know that drinking and operating your vessel is not ok.

In a Facebook post, the Limestone County Sheriff's Office reported that deputies and a game warden were called to Lake Limestone in reference to a disturbance between boaters. Both boaters were asked to pull up to a boat ramp while an investigation was conducted.

The game warden at the scene determined that one of the men was operating his vessel while intoxicated. The man was transported to the Limestone County Jail without incident.

According to Texas Parks & Wildlife, open containers are legal on boats, but boat operators are subject to boating while intoxicated laws just as if they were operating any other vehicle. That goes for personal watercraft as well, like WaveRunners and Jet Skis. Operators and passengers may also be subject to public intoxication laws in Texas.

If you're arrested for boating while intoxicated, your driver license will automatically be suspended if:

  • You're operating a watercraft powered by an engine with a manufacturer's rating of 50 horsepower or above
  • You refuse to provide a breath or blood specimen to determine intoxication

A 1st time offender's license can be suspected for 180 days.

According to the Hill Law Firm, the blood alcohol concentration limit for a boater is the same as for a driver on the road: 0.08.

While boating while intoxicated is a misdemeanor in Texas, it can result in jail time and hefty fines.

Your first offense could cost you a $2,000 fine and 180 days in jail.

A second offense could cost you a $4,000 fine and a year in jail.

The third offense could cost you a $10,000 fine and two to 10 years in jail.


Interesting note: Anyone born after September 1, 1993 is required by Texas law to complete a boater education course before they can operate certain boats and personal watercraft.

We're fortunate to have such beautiful lakes here in Central Texas, and if you plan to take your boat out on Lake Belton or Stillhouse, treat those lakes and your fellow Texans with respect and keep yourself safe.

If you're a boater, angler, or hunter, or just love getting outdoors here in Central Texas, tune in to On the Dock with Rick Smith every Friday from 5 PM to 6 PM on KTEM 1400 AM.

Rick and co-hosts Billy Conway and Constable Fred Churchill bring you the latest news about our local lakes, as well as fishing, boating, and hunting areas across the Lone Star State. They often have game wardens and representatives from the Army Corps of Engineers on as guests to discuss the laws and safety rules you'll need to know before heading to the lake, and you may even get some tips on where you can catch the most fish.

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