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Boating while intoxicated is a serious charge

Last week, we discussed some basic information about boating while intoxicated. If you recall, New York has limits for the blood alcohol concentration of people who are operating a boat. A BUI or BWI charge can mean you lose your right to operate a boat. That alone shows how serious of a problem drinking while operating a boat can be.

The United States Coast Guard estimates that a boat operator who has a BAC that is above 10 percent is more than 10 times as likely to die in an accident while on the water than a boat operator who doesn't have a BAC. The Coast Guard has also noted that alcohol is more dangerous on the waterways than it is on the dry land, which is a sobering thought.

Anyone who is taking to the waterways should know that drinking and boating is illegal. Anyone who is operating any vessel or watercraft on the waterways can be stopped and checked for BUI or BWI. Not only can the local authorities stop you if they think you have been drinking, federal authorities can also "pull you over" in your boat.

If you are facing a boating while intoxicated or boating under the influence charge, you should know that you are facing a criminal history. Unlike simple tickets, BUI and BWI aren't just infractions. If you are found guilty, you will have a criminal record. You might lose your right to operate a boat, you may face time in jail and you might have to pay fines. Learning how to defend against these charges might help you decide how to handle your case.

Source: American Boating Association, "Alcohol & BWI - Why we must get "BADD"," accessed April. 07, 2015

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