Drennan Law Firm Drennan Law Firm Dui & Traffic Law Center
843-352-4149 Free Consultation

Federal drunk driving charges possible for offshore boaters

Due to this year's unseasonably cold and snowy winter, going for a boat ride might only be a distant thought in the minds of South Carolina residents. Hopefully, however, warmer weather will soon be here and boating enthusiasts can hit the water.

One thing that may accompany many boat trips, especially if friends are along, is drinking. Although it might be nice to enjoy a beer on a long day on the lake or ocean, boaters should know that drunk driving laws apply to both water and land. Much like drivers, boat operators can be charged under state law if they have a blood alcohol content of 0.08 percent or higher. Additionally, it may be possible for federal boating under the influence charges to be filed in some cases, which may come as a surprise to many people.

Of course, many drunk driving cases are handled by state law enforcement officials, but the U.S. Coast Guard can enforce BUI laws if watercraft are far enough offshore. An important thing to note, according to the Coast Guard, is that this federal law applies to any type of boat -- including canoes and other non-motorized boats.

Federal criminal charges can include consequences that are more significant than criminal issues handled at the state level. Knowing this, a person can face very heavy consequences for a one-time mistake. Prosecutors will have federal resources at their disposal to aggressively pursue a conviction, so seeking out trustworthy assistance can help balance the scales.

As the warmer months grow closer, the potential consequences of BUI charges are something to keep in mind. After all, no one wants a fun day on the water to take a dramatic, unfortunate turn.

Source: U.S. Coast Guard Boating Safety Resource Center, "Boating Under the Influence Initiatives," accessed March 3, 2014

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

Call Drennan Law Firm — Free Initial Consultation

Speak with a Charleston criminal lawyer today who will work with you directly, one-on-one.
Please call us at 843-352-4149 or email us to schedule a meeting or for prompt legal assistance.

Email Us 24/7 For Fast Answers

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

Privacy Policy

Main Office
1350 Chuck Dawley Blvd
Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464

Toll Free: 888-722-6179
Phone: 843-352-4149
Fax: 843-606-2971
Mt. Pleasant Law Office Map

Branch Office
Local: 843-225-2384
Toll Free: 888-722-6179