For many, taking a boat out on the water and enjoying alcohol is great way to unwind and a celebrated summer pastime. However, Washington State has recently cracked down on boating under the influence offenses, or BUI, and has enhanced penalties to be even harsher for those convicted. Now, a BUI conviction can mean hefty fines and even significant jail time for the accused.
If you have been charged, we invite you to contact us at Guadagno & Virant, PLLC. Our Seattle criminal defense lawyers have over a decade of experience in protecting the rights of clients facing the most serious of charges. Our aggressive, results-driven approach means not only will you voice be heard before the law, but that every possible defense avenue will be pursued to its fullest extent.
Retain a Seattle BUI attorney capable of producing results. Contact us at (206) 569-8995 for a FREE initial consultation today.
In 2015, state legislature made the penalties for BUI more severe than they had been in years past. Previously, BUI was a simple misdemeanor, but now the offense is considered a "gross misdemeanor" with more serious consequences and protocols that more closely resemble DUI laws.
Some important Washington BUI factors to note include:
Defending against BUI charges is not quite the same as countering DUI charges, and it is extremely important that you retain counsel familiar and capable in this area. BUIs are policed by different agencies (like the Coast Guard) and are subject to different protocols and possible probable cause issues. Do not face these charges without counsel you can count on.
Contact us at Guadagno & Virant, PLLC for a free case evaluation today.
To properly build a powerful defense against your BUI charges, you will need to understand the boating laws in Washington. Below, we shed some light on some of the laws pertaining to the operation of a boat.
Do you need a license to drive a boat in Washington?
Since 2005, the state of Washington began phasing in a law that requires mandatory boating education for all boaters. The final phase of this law went into effect in 2016 which requires all boaters over 12 years old to have a Boater Education Card. This is not required if you are renting or leasing a motor boat or vessel.
When is a person considered “under the influence” of alcohol
or a drug?
If the person has 0.08 grams or more of alcohol per two hundred liters of breath the boater can be classified as illegally intoxicated. This can be measured by their breath. Another measurement would be based on whether they appear to be affected by an intoxicating liquor or drug.
How should you respond if pulled over?
As a boater, you are required to respond to the law enforcement officer’s request to stop your boat. It is against the law to evade the officer or ignore his or her demands.
Can you have alcohol on a boat?
It is not illegal to have alcohol on a water vessel. You are allowed to drink on a boat, but it is against the law to operate the vessel while under the influence.
When you need assistance, our Seattle criminal defense lawyers are here. Call today.