Drunk driving is known as driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI). Getting a DUI or DWI is one of the most serious driving offenses. They
also tend to involve harsh penalties that can affect you for the rest
of your life. A DUI/DWI law prohibits driving while under the influence
of an alcoholic beverage or drugs. To arrest a person for driving under
the influence, the following must be proven:
- The person is driving a vehicle – steering it and controlling it
while it is moving.
- His/her ability to safely operate a vehicle was affected by having drunk
an alcoholic beverage, taken a drug, or both.
Now, when it comes to getting pulled over for a DUI/DWI, I’m sure
most people think of getting pulled over while driving a car or truck,
however, you can be pulled over for operating a boat while under the influence
of alcohol or drugs.
What is a “Vehicle”?
What is considered a vehicle varies from state to state. Most states consider
a vehicle to be a car, truck, boat, or airplane. However, when state legislatures
haven’t defined what a vehicle is, judges have included watercraft
and aircraft in this genre. In other cases, some states have created a
completely different DWI law to cover “special” vehicles,
such as planes and boats. If you receive a DUI or DWI while operating
a boat, it’s important to ask your attorney what your state defines
as a vehicle to determine which laws apply to your case.
Boating While Under the Influence
If you are arrested for operating a boat while under the influence of drugs
or alcohol, you will be charged with a DWI under the state statute. In
some jurisdictions, operating a boat under the influence is known as boating
under the influence, or BUI. If you have a blood alcohol level of .08%
or higher, you will be arrested for driving under the influence. In some
areas, you can be arrested for having a blood alcohol level of just .05%.
If you’ve been pulled over for suspicion of operating a boat under
the influence, a series of sobriety tests will be administered. There
are three tests that show the significant relationship of BAC:
1. Horizontal gaze nystagmus in a seated position. (How well your eyes
call follow a moving finger).
2. Reciting the alphabet.
3. Clapping hands alternately with palm and back of hand while counting.
Penalties of Boating Under the Influence
The penalties for operating a boat under the influence can range from a
large fine, to spending time in jail. The following are DUI/DWI penalties
you could face:
- Alcohol Counseling
- Boating Safety Classes
- Community Service
- Loss of driver’s license
- Loss of boating privilege
- Jail time
When operating a boat, it is best to avoid drinking alcohol altogether.
The probability of being in a
boating accident doubles when there’s alcohol involved. Studies show that the effect
of alcohol is exaggerated when you’ve been out in the sun for a
long period of time.
If you’ve been accused of a felony DUI/DWI, contact the experienced
lawyers at The Kyle Law Firm for help. We have years of experience dealing
with DUI/DWI cases. Don’t attempt to handle a felony charge like
this by yourself.
Contact us today to set up a free consultation.