Last week, we wrote about the increased presence of law enforcement looking to catch impaired boaters at the Seafair event on Lake Washington.
This week, the statistics are in, and it was reported that 34 people were cited for boating under the influence at the event, reports The Seattle Times.
To put the number of arrests in perspective, that's a whopping 40 percent drop from last year. So why the drop in arrests?
There may be many different explanations for the decline. Perhaps boaters are drinking wiser and designating a sober driver. Or perhaps the publicity of the new BUI laws and emphasis on catching drunk boaters at Seafair caused many would-be drunk boaters to stay home.
Maybe a better explanation is that there were simply fewer people at the event. Seafair officials did report that ticket sales were down this year partly due to the absence of the Blue Angels from the event.
Along with issuing fewer citations, authorities also contacted fewer boats (473, a 32 percent drop from the previous year). However, police did give 42 citations for non-alcohol related charges like speeding and unsafe lane changes. Other notable stats from the Seafair event include:
- 15 individuals contacted for a BUI refused a breath test. Under new BUI laws, this act of refusal carries a $2,050 fine.
- Four of the 34 charged with a BUI were booked and taken to jail. The other 30 were simply told to pull over and have a sober person pick them up.
- Four search warrants were served for blood samples. One warrant for a search of a boat resulted in a drug arrest.
Generally, the laws for a BUI are similar to a DUI and the legal limit to boat and drive is 0.08. However, there are important distinctions between the two laws and you will want to work with an experienced BUI attorney if you face charges in the Seattle or King County areas.
For answers to your specific questions about a boating under the influence charge, contact the experienced Seattle BUI attorneys at Wolff Criminal Defense. Call us at 425-284-2000 to schedule a consultation.