Rhode Island boat owners appreciate the 400 miles of coastline the state offers. Even inland provides options to take a boat out on rivers or lakes. Safety should be a top priority whether operating a large sailboat or a small bass fishing boat. Among the most blatant ways to undermine safety on the water involves taking a boat out while intoxicated. Such actions might lead to criminal charges and civil lawsuits.
Avoiding a DUI on a boat
Perhaps a rule that significantly limits or restricts alcohol consumption on the boat might work. The person operating the boat could avoid drinking at all, which seems logical. Having both the primary captain and a passenger who knows how to sail stay sober seems like a potentially good idea. This way, there’s a backup if the primary captain becomes ill or chooses to drink.
Not drinking until the boat trip ends may avoid scores of problems. Granted, drinking on the dock could make someone too intoxicated to drive. Just as the Coast Guard may stop a vessel operating suspiciously, law enforcement may pull over a boat pilot for a suspected DUI.
BUI and DUI penalties
Whether driving or boating under the influence, the accused could receive fines and other penalties even for a first-time offense. A blood alcohol concentration of .08 indicates illegal intoxication, and higher levels, such as .15 or over, could bring harsher penalties. Repeat offenses come with more significant penalties.
Those charged with a DUI or BUI could challenge the accusations. For example, if the police lacked probable cause to perform a stop, the case may have no merit. Problems with the Breathalyzer or blood test results might also undermine the prosecution.