Boating While Under The Influence
Most people know that operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol is illegal, but few take the time to realize that these same laws apply to drivers operating boats. Enjoying an alcoholic beverage while driving your boat might seem harmless enough, but it could wind up costing you a DUI charge.
Educating yourself on some of the unique circumstances that affect boating DUIs can help you battle a conviction if you are issued a DUI while behind the wheel of a boat in the future.
Some boating DUIs are issued in error.
It's important that you realize not all boating DUIs are issued correctly. Spending a day out on the open water means that you will be exposed to a lot of direct sunlight. If you aren't wearing sunglasses, your eyes could become red. If you fail to drink enough water, you could exhibit some of the early signs of heat exhaustion.
Heat exhaustion can mimic intoxication, as both can result in dizziness, balance and coordination issues, and slurred speech. If you were issued a DUI while boating but you weren't intoxicated, you need to hire an experienced attorney to help you prove the facts of your case.
Follow all directions issued at intoxication checkpoints.
Many boaters who are issued a DUI receive their charges after being caught in a checkpoint. Law enforcement officials will often set up checkpoints on busy boating weekends in an attempt to keep waterways safe.
It's important that you follow all of the directions issued at these checkpoints. Don't argue with the officers or attempt to plead your case, as this could result in additional charges. It's best to work with an attorney to plead your case in court.
Know the consequences of being issued a boating DUI.
Some people fail to recognize the seriousness of being issued a DUI while behind the wheel of a boat. A conviction could result in you losing your boating license. In some cases, law enforcement officials may take possession of your boat while you await trial.
Many convictions also carry hefty fines that can place a financial burden on you and your family. Knowing the serious consequences associated with boating DUIs will help you see the value in hiring an experienced attorney to help you fight a conviction in court.
Know your rights when it comes to boating DUIs to ensure you are able to protect your ability to operate a boat in the future.