These days, practically everyone knows it is illegal to drink and drive, but for whatever reason, many people don’t know it is against the law to operate a boat while under the influence. In fact, doing so is not only illegal, it is also dangerous, which is why San Diego police patrol our local beaches, lakes and other waterways on a regular basis, looking for people who are operating a boat, jetski or similar water-based vehicle while intoxicated. If you have been arrested for drinking while boating, please call San Diego DUI attorney Peter M. Liss.
The legal blood alcohol content for boating under the influence is the same as that of driving -0.08% for most adults, 0.01% for juveniles and 0.04% for those operating a commercial vehicle -such as a cruise ship or professional fishing vessel. Like a DUI charge, you are not legally obligated to take a field sobriety test or submit to a portable screening test (unless you are a minor), but you are required to take either a breathalyzer or blood test after you are arrested. Your San Diego DUI lawyer can help you fight the results of any of these tests in court.
For the most part, the laws regarding boating under the influence are the same as those restricting driving under the influence -with one exception. If you receive a BUI, you will not have your license suspended because you did not violate California’s driving laws. Otherwise though, sentencing will be the same, including possible jail time, alcohol rehabilitation classes and fines. This means you need to hire a top San Diego DUI attorney to protect your rights and fight the charges against you.
It is important to note that if you have received any previous DUIs or BUIs, these will be counted against you and you will face increased sentencing as a result. Additionally, a BUI conviction will be counted as a prior offense if you are charged with drunk driving in the future. Lastly, if someone is injured in a BUI accident, you may be charged with a felony.
Just because you were on a watercraft and your license is not at stake does not mean a boating under the influence charge should not be taken seriously. If you have been charged with drinking and boating, please schedule a free initial consultation with top San Diego DUI lawyer Peter M. Liss by calling (760) 643-4050 or (858) 486-3024.
Creative Commons Image by Marc Opek