Did you know that a boat operator is likely to be become impaired quicker than a driver? The penalties for boating under the influence are just as serious as driving under the influence including steep fines, serious jail sentences and the suspension or revocation of your operating privileges. It is illegal in all fifty states to operate a boat while under the influence of drugs or alcohol and this applies to all boats, canoes, rowboats, larger ships and even foreign vessels operating in U.S. waters. Alcohol is even more dangerous to boaters than it is to drivers. On the water there are vibrations, sun rays, wind and spray which altogether may accelerate the effects of the alcohol. The sun, water, wind and constant movement fatigue the boater making their judgment, hand-eye coordination and reflexes slow more rapidly.
Any vessel that is lawfully stopped and the field sobriety tests will be conducted, if the driver has a blood alcohol content of .08% or higher they are considered under the influence and they will be accused of a misdemeanor RCW 79A.60.040. This crime is punishable for up to 90 days in jail and up to $1,000 in fines. Boaters are often less experienced out on the water and are far less confident than they are on land. In fact studies show that boaters only average about 110 hours of recreational boat operation per year.
When a boater is impaired they process information slower, lack the proper balance and coordination, and their vision and depth perception suffer making it harder to focus. The Coast Guard has placed strict federal laws in place for anyone who violates the BUI laws. If you are boating on open water in the state of Washington you may be under the jurisdiction of both the federal law and the laws of the state. If a boater is found operating while intoxicated, the Coast Guard may arrest them, detain them until they are sober or turn them over to law enforcement officials.
Protect Your Rights: Hire Ramirez & Cooper, Inc.
The penalties of a BUI are severe and a conviction will have a lasting effect of your driving privileges. Before you go out boating for the fourth of July or Memorial Day remember to take along some non-alcohol drinks and water to keep you hydrated. In the eyes of the law a boat is still a vehicle and operational safety is your personal and legal obligation. If you or a loved one has been charged with a BUI you may not know where or who to turn to. Ramirez & Cooper, Inc. are here to help protect your rights and investigate the situations that led up to your arrest. Many boaters many not know the laws of the water or realize how fatigued and impaired they are when they are out on the water. Our criminal defense attorneys will aggressively fight for you and work to have your charges minimized or dismissed entirely.
Here are several benefits of hiring our firm when facing a BUI charge in Kitsap County, WA:
- Experienced in handling BUI cases
- In-depth knowledge of local laws related to BUI charges
- Thoroughly examines the evidence presented against you and looks for potential weaknesses or inconsistencies
- Negotiates with prosecutors on your behalf to reduce charges or seek a dismissal of the case
- Dedicated to protecting your rights throughout the legal proceedings
- Skilled at arguing mitigating circumstances that could lessen any penalties associated with the offense
- Will work tirelessly on building an effective defense strategy on your behalf
Contact our firm today for a free consultation and learn more about the penalties of a BUI charge.
The attorneys at Ramirez & Cooper, Inc. have a thorough understanding of the legal proceedings and criminal statutes. We are able to give our clients the resources, advocacy and legal advice they need to be successful inside and outside the courtroom. Our legal team will stand by your side every step of the way and always keep you updated on the status of your case. We handle criminal cases throughout Washington state. Let us build a case strategy for you or your loved one, we may be able to take action before charges are even filed.
Over 30 Years’ of Combined Legal Experience
Former Prosecution Experience*
Thousands of Criminal Cases Handled
Over 1,000 DUI Cases Handled
Hundreds of Cases Tried to Verdict or Judgment
Appeared Before the Supreme Court