Washington’s new Boating Under the Influence (“BUI”) laws have taken effect; operating a boat (or other motorized water vessel) while impaired just became a whole lot more riskier. As of today, a person convicted of BUI faces 364 days in jail and a $5,000 fine.
Revised RCW 79A.60.040 is aimed at: (1) improving boating safety in our Washington waters, and (2) making it easier for law-enforcement officers to arrest impaired boaters. Under the new BUI laws officers with probable cause can ask a boat operator to submit to a Breathalyzer or a blood test. The boat operator may refuse to submit to the requested test and that refusal will not be admissible into evidence at a subsequent criminal trial. However, the person’s refusal to submit to a test or tests will constitute a class 1 civil infraction under RCW 7.80.120 ($1,000 fine), and notwithstanding the person’s refusal officers are permitted to seek a warrant for a breath or blood analysis from the person.
In addition to the foregoing, the new boating laws will also require rental boats to be outfitted with minimum safety equipment and prohibits boat rental companies from charging a separate fee for providing the equipment.
Now more than ever, one cited for BUI is well advised to hire a qualified Seattle DUI attorney as soon as possible. Boating Under the Influence allegations in Washington State are extremely serious, and can cause havoc on a person’s personal and professional life. Anyone charged with BUI in Washington State should immediately seek the assistance of a seasoned Seattle DUI lawyer. The Seattle DUI attorneys that make up the criminal defense team of SQ Attorneys are highly qualified and reputable Seattle DUI defense lawyers that are dedicated to providing top notch, aggressive representation for those arrested for DUI in Western Washington. The team creates success by working with law enforcement and the prosecuting attorney’s office to ensure that all facts and circumstances related to the criminal allegations are considered in creating the fairest, most equitable and just resolution possible in light of all the surrounding circumstances.