Many times, when people think about spending a day at the lake, they assume alcohol will be involved. There's nothing quite like spending a few lazy afternoon hours trolling around the open water with friends, sun, and beer. Unfortunately, however, mixing alcohol with boating can be extremely dangerous. Therefore, Washington has established laws prohibiting boating under the influence (BUI). If you do not have a designated boat operator who will remain sober, you run the risk being stopped and charged with BUI.
Washington BUI Laws
The legal blood alcohol content (BAC) limit for boaters is the same as that for drivers – 0.08%. Boaters who are caught with a BAC above this percentage will be charged with BUI, which is considered to be a misdemeanor offense. If you are convicted of BUI, you will have to do the following:
- Spend up to 90 days in jail
- Pay a fine of up to $1000
Boating under the influence, though still a dangerous and criminal act, is not treated nearly as severely as driving under the influence. If you are accused of BUI, you will generally face no punishment if you decline a requested blood or breath test. You also will not see an increase in your punishment if you have been convicted of multiple BUIs. Finally, unlike DUI, offenders will not face any mandatory punishments; there are no minimum fines or jail sentences.
If you have been charged with BUI, then you will need an experienced and qualified attorney to protect your rights in court. The Seattle DUI defense lawyers of Cowan Kirk can defend you if you have been caught boating under the influence. To learn more, contact our offices today at 1-866-822-1230.