There is a lot of misinformation about Washington boating under the influence laws. Many people mistakenly believe that boating under the influence is covered by the same laws as driving under the influence. However, there are distinct differences between the two laws (as well as similarities). Here are five things boaters should know about Washington BUI laws:
- 0.08 is the legal limit. Similar to driving under the influence, Washington laws set the legal limit for boating under the influence of alcohol to 0.08. Also similar to driving under the influence, you should be aware that you may be charged with a BUI for an even lower blood alcohol content if you boating is impaired by alcohol use.
- BUIs do not lead to a driver's license suspension. One of the primary differences between BUIs and DUIs is that a BUI conviction typically does not lead to a driver's license suspension. Also, a BUI may not lead to a requirement that you install an ignition interlock device in your car.
- BUI laws apply to all watercraft. You don't need to be operating a motor-powered speedboat to be charged with a BUI. Instead, you may be operating any watercraft and can be charged with a BUI if you are otherwise under the influence. So drunk rafters and kayakers may be charged with a BUI too.
- BUI is a crime. Because boating is such a recreational activity, there is a misperception that boating under the influence is not considered a crime. However, this could not be further from the truth. Someone convicted of a BUI can face misdemeanor criminal charges and be ordered to serve time in jail.
- You will want a Seattle BUI Attorney on your side. Just as you would not fight a DUI charge on your own, you would not want to fight a BUI charge without an experienced Seattle BUI attorney on your side. To learn how an attorney at Wolff Criminal Defense can assist you, contact us at 425-284-2000.