Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Ithaca Lawyer Boating with a DWI Conditional License


I do get lots of interesting questions, here is a recent query:

I have a question that no one seems to have the answer to or wants to answer in any definitive manner, not other laywers, probation department, or any authorities I have spoken to thus far. My question is this: 

I am a NYS resident and I have been convicted of DWI in NYS, scentencing adjourned for 1 year upon completion of interim probation. I am currently using a conditional driver's license. 

AM I ALLOWED TO OPERATE MY RECREATIONAL FISHING VESSEL AT THIS TIME??? 

One source claims absolutely not, that I am not allowed to operate any motorized vehicle or vessel except for the specific outlines of my conditional license. Another source claims I can because a license is NOT required to operate a recreational boat in the first place, and my current driver's license status has no bearing on operating a boat.
Thank you so much for any time you take to answer this question if possible..
Kindest regards,

Billy Bob (name has been changed to protect the guilty)

My response (this is what I do in my spare time, not boating but answering stuff about boating):

That's an excellent question, one I would ask to the DMV for the definitive answer 

but if I may think legally on it, 


1. by analogy one can ride their snowmobile or recreational vehicle with a cond license (the snow definitely recreational) so I would think the boat is similar, 

2. in addition, the cond license is a limited license (privilege) and only because work, school, and med care are vitally important and necessary, to get to these places only by a CAR or other motor vehicle. I think the definition of motor vehicle is the key here.

NOTE: NYS defines "motor vehicle" as car or truck or Motorcycle  NOT boat, snowmobile, or recreational vehicle

3. lastly, BWI (boating while intoxicated) doesn't "usually" affect your driver's license merely your boating license. Unless it is a boating accident, this is in the discretion of the DMV commissioner.

Similarly, a DWI should only affect your motor vehicle license and NOT your boating license

I finally went into the call the DMV and they feel similarly, 

 all the best

Larry



         Lawrence (Larry) Newman, D.C., J.D.
Doctor of Chiropractic
Attorney and Counselor at Law

504 North Aurora Street
Ithaca, NY 14850
607-229-5184