When a person is pulled over for suspicion of DUI, they may be asked to submit to field sobriety tests wherever the officer pulls them over. For BUI charges, a person can also be asked to take a field sobriety test. However, these balance tests are much more difficult to complete on the water due to the instability of the surface on which one stands. This can put boaters at a disadvantage when it comes to defending themselves from BUI charges.
If you are facing BUI charges, it is important to secure aggressive and experienced legal representation in order to defend yourself against potentially significant penalties and collateral consequences. For more information about how we may be able to help you with your legal defense, contact a Mercer Island field sobriety tests on the water attorney of Cowan Kirk Kattenhorn by calling 866-822-1230 today.
Problems with Field Sobriety Tests on the Water
A person submitting to a field sobriety test on the water may not be able to focus or balance as well as someone on solid ground. However, even giving boat operators the chance to get back to shore requires letting these people acclimate themselves to the solid ground, particularly if they have been on the water for several hours.
These considerations may not be adequately accounted for in a BUI field sobriety test, leaving the subject of such an assessment likely to fail due to the following non-alcohol related factors:
- Inability to balance due to being on the water
- Inability to balance due to not being acclimated to land
- Inability to focus because of environmental distractions
- Inability to focus due to long-term sun exposure
These sorts of problems can significantly impact the outcome of a field sobriety test, giving unreliable results for authorities to use as evidence against a BUI defendant.
If you have been charged with intoxicated boating, your legal defense should be a priority. To discuss your case with an experienced BUI attorney, contact the Mercer Island field sobriety tests on the water lawyers of Cowan Kirk Kattenhorn at 866-822-1230 today.