Boise Boating DUI Lawyer
You may be aware of the consequences of operating a car or other street vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol, but the same laws apply to motorists operating a boat. The rules apply to both large and small boats, canoes, kayaks, and even rowboats.
All states have laws regarding operating a boat while impaired with a substance. Penalties include fines, loss of license, jail time and criminal charges as this is considered a federal offense. If you find yourself in hot water you need the trusted professionals at Trilogy Law Group to come to your defense. Reach out to seek guidance from a Boise boating DUI lawyer.
What Is Boating Under the Influence?
Boating is often a social event, meaning many people may be on the boat or on nearby boats. Similarly to driving a car, if you’ve been arrested and have been accused of operating your boat under the influence, you may face criminal charges with severe penalties.
Idaho is focused on increasing boating safety. Almost half of the accidents involving boats involve alcohol, which is one of the reasons that laws regarding boating under the influence are becoming more stringent and strictly enforced.
The United States Coast Guard enforces federal laws regarding boating under the influence (BUI). These laws pertain to all watercraft including canoes, rafts, pontoons, and the largest of vessels. It includes foreign boats that operate in United States waters as well. It is argued that alcohol is even more hazardous on water than land and charges are taken seriously.
What If I Wasn’t Intoxicated?
In some cases, you may have been approached by the Coast Guard and even arrested for boating under the influence, even if you weren’t drinking or under the influence of drugs. You may be worried about what probable cause the authorities may have to arrest you on these grounds.
There are stressors of being on the water that may enhance the appearance of being intoxicated. You may still be arrested if your blood alcohol content (BAC) is less than the benchmark 0.08. Factors such as the motion of the boat, fatigue due to strong heat and winds, and the spray of the water may add to the appearance that you are impaired.
Seeking legal counsel in these cases is important. Our dedicated professionals will investigate the details of each individual case to identify weaknesses in the prosecution’s case. The above stressors can make you appear to be intoxicated when in fact you’re not. Because of this, your coordination, judgment, and reaction time may be slower than those on land.
Penalties for a BUI
Being in physical control of a watercraft is illegal while impaired. If you have a BAC level of 0.08 or above if you are 21 years or older or are under the influence of drugs or an intoxicating compound including prescription drugs, it’s a criminal offense to operate a watercraft.
If found guilty, the penalty is dependent on the circumstances of each case and is similar to that of a DUI when operating a vehicle on land. The BUI law carries implied consent for testing blood, breath, or urine. If this test is refused, your boating license may be suspended.
If this is your first offense, the punishment includes imprisonment for a minimum of forty-eight hours and an additional fine of up to $1,000. The penalties increase with every following offense. Punishments can increase to up to one year of jail time and up to $75,000 in fines. Substance abuse evaluations and treatment programs may even be a part of your sentence.
If additional factors are involved, such as an accident where someone was injured or died or operating without a valid license, the severity of the charges can increase significantly. If found guilty, even your driver’s license may also be in jeopardy.
Reach Out to a Boating DUI Lawyer in Boise
If you find yourself facing the stress and uncertainty of boating DUI charges, your first call should be to the trusted legal team at Trilogy Law Group. A BUI conviction can alter your life. Fines, license suspension, possible jail time, and license suspension may impact your ability to work and hurt your personal relationships.
Contact a legal representative and fight DUI charges as soon as possible. The experienced attorneys at Trilogy Law Group are here to advocate for you. Connect with us today by calling 208-968-9060 or completing the online form below to learn more about the guidance we can offer.