August is upon us. The Blue Angels are in town. SeaFair is here. And that means another round of increased efforts to remove impaired folks from our roadways and our waterways in and around the Puget Sound region. People who choose to spend the weekend on our roadways and our waterways should be well aware of the dangers of drinking and driving and drinking and boating.
The Washington Legislature enacted criminal laws penalizing certain conduct while operating a vehicle, whether it runs on a roadway or on a waterway. Those laws are being aggressively enforced. In fact, an individual operating a vessel on our waters while under the influence of intoxicating liquor and or drugs is criminally liable just as he would be criminally liable for driving a vehicle on our roadways. The prosecution now proves a BUI similar to a DUI. They seek to either prove the vessel operator provided a breath or blood sample of 0.08 or higher, or alternatively that the evidence supports the boat operator is under the influence of the intoxicating liquor and or drugs. That said, the penalties for a BUI criminal conviction are less harsh than that of a DUI conviction. In fact, a BUI is merely a misdemeanor crime carrying a maximum penalty of 90 days in jail and a $1,000.00 fine, whereas a DUI is a gross misdemeanor crime carrying a maximum penalty of 364 days in jail and a $5,000.00 fine. Also, a BUI conviction does not require mandatory BUI penalties like a DUI conviction requires mandatory DUI Penalties. Further: (1) there are no consequences in refusing the a breath test when arrested for a BUI; and (2) there are no drivers license consequences with a BUI criminal conviction.
If you are arrested for Driving Under the Influence or for Boating Under the Influence seek a Seattle DUI Attorney immediately. Hiring a seasoned Seattle DUI attorney is imperative when facing the prospect of a DUI/ BUI conviction. A qualified and trained Seattle DUI lawyer will sift through the myriad and numerous defenses in a Washington DUI/ BUI case. So if facing a DUI or a BU, do not go it alone and do not just hire some ‘general’ practitioner. Washington DUI/ BUI laws are far too complicated for any ol’ attorney. So … be smart … hire a qualified, skilled Seattle DUI lawyer when arrested for DUI or a BUI in Washington State.