The laws governing boats in international waters are sometimes confusing to many maritime enthusiasts. These waters, appropriately known as the high seas, require a greater degree of knowledge in order to safely operate a boat of any size. Accordingly, boaters must be especially careful in the open waters. Yet as a person becomes familiar with these waters they may feel safe enough to drink alcoholic beverages while operating their watercraft. Boating while intoxicated is a serious crime that carries considerable penalties whether in U.S. or international waters.
If you have been charged with a boating offense, contact the Seattle DUI defense attorneys of the Cowan Kirk Kattenhorn Law Firm today at 866-822-1230 for a free consultation and legal advice.
How Do These Charges Work?
Alcohol and boating are incompatible in any waters. If a person is caught by a law enforcement agency while on international waters, generally measured out at a rough distance of 50 miles or so from the coast, and is found to be operating a vehicle while intoxicated, penalties can still apply. Charges may have the following consequences:
- US registered boats return to the US justice system for punishment
- US laws naturally extend to international laws due to registration location
- Laws that cause serious damages are extended to international waters
- Generally, the flag flown on the boat informs legal expectations
As a result, Coast Guard operators may issue BUI or BWI tickets once in contact with intoxicated boaters. In addition, a captain can be charged if they drink on international waters, but return to US seas while still intoxicated.
For more information regarding your rights in a BUI or BWI case, contact the Seattle DUI defense attorneys of the Cowan Kirk Kattenhorn Law Firm by calling 866-822-1230.