Wisconsin has many wonderful lakes, and, as the weather heats up, people will be spending more time on the water. Boating can be a relaxing activity, and it is not unusual for people to drink alcohol while on a boat. However, they should be aware that they can receive a DWI for drunk boating just like a person driving an automobile while intoxicated.
Boaters on Lake Michigan this Memorial Day weekend may have noticed the presence of the U.S. Coast Guard. These officials have been keeping an eye out for safety violations on the water, including drunk boating. While it is legal to have an alcoholic beverage on the boat’s console, the person operating the boat cannot have a blood-alcohol concentration over the legal limit of 0.08%. Coast Guard members carry breath test instruments on their vessels to ascertain what a boater’s BAC is. They are also permitted to administer field sobriety tests.
People who are accused of drunk boating offenses have the right to a defense. There are several possible strategies for defending against these and other DWI charges. For example, it could be argued that the breath test was faulty. The legality of the stop may also be called into question. However, what defenses are available are very fact-specific.
So, while boaters in Wisconsin should enjoy their time on the water this summer, they should make sure they understand their rights when it comes to boating and consuming alcohol. Drunk driving defense attorneys can provide more advice on drunk boating and DWIs to those who want to learn more about this topic.