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Avoiding a BWI/BUI Arrest on Memorial Day

Memorial Day weekend begins the boating season throughout the United States.  Enjoying warmer weather with friends and family on beautiful waterways combined with drinking alcohol is an American pastime.  It is not illegal in most states to consume alcohol while driving a boat.  Boaters need to be responsible to ensure that their Memorial Day cheer does not put a dent in their career.  Law enforcement announced increased BWI and BUI enforcement nationwide.  Law enforcement stop boaters for water safety checks without needing a legal justification for stopping a boater.  If officers smell alcohol on the boat driver’s breath, officers then shift their investigation to determining whether the boater is intoxicated or under the influence of alcohol.

How is BWI BUI Enforced?

The tools officers use to investigate if a person is boating while intoxicated, or boating under the influence, are called seated sobriety exercises, or seated float tests.  More detailed information about these seated float tests are located at https://www.nacdl.org/Champion.aspx?id=38207&terms=bwi.  Boaters also need to be aware that law enforcement generally maintain a greater presence near marinas and harbors.  Thus, boaters have a greater likelihood of being stopped for a water safety check near marinas, boat launches and harbors.  Law enforcement do not need a legal reasons to randomly stop boaters and conduct water safety checks on boats coming into the marina.

Stopped for BUI/BWI, What Do I Do?

If you or a friend is stopped for BWI or BUI, all persons on the boat need to be polite.  Law enforcement have a difficult job to do.  If someone on the boat is not professional, it will not be well received by law enforcement.  Further, it will not reflect well on the driver of the boat who is the focus of law enforcement.  Most officers have body cameras that audio and video record the encounter.  Being polite and respectful also demonstrates sobriety.  Boaters should focus and listen carefully to the instructions the officers provide them.  Being able to mentally retain the instructions and physically perform the seated sobriety tests can be the difference between being released or being arrested.

Arrested for BUI/BWI, What Do I Do Now?

If you or a friend needs assistance in dealing with a BWI or BUI arrest this Memorial Day weekend, you should immediately speak with a board certified DUI/DWI lawyer (https://ncdd.com/board-certified-members)who know the ins and outs of BWI BUI law enforcement.  A board certified DUI/DWI lawyer can be the difference between a conviction and a dismissal or reduction of a BWI BUI charge.

Read more: If arrested for BWI BUI what do I do now?

About Doug Murphy

Doug Murphy
Doug Murphy is a nationally recognized legal seminar lecturer, and author of numerous published legal articles. Doug currently serves on the Board of Regent for the National College for DUI Defense, and also as President-Elect for the Harris County Criminal Lawyers Association. Doug previously served as co-chair of the DWI Committee with the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, in addition to serving two consecutive terms on the Board of Directors for TCDLA . Doug is board certified in Criminal Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, and also in DUI/DWI Defense by the National College for DUI Defense, which is approved by the American Bar Association and the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Doug was selected by his peers to be recognized as one of The Best Lawyers in America, U.S News & World Report; is AV Preeminent-Rated® by Martindale-Hubbell; recognized as a Texas Super Lawyer Rising Star by Texas Monthly magazine every year since the recognition began in 2004, and also as a Texas Super Lawyer. In 2012, Doug was awarded the Sharon Levine Unsung Hero Lawyer of the Year Award by the Harris County Criminal Lawyers Association for his efforts in exposing the flaws—and eliminating—the Houston Police Departments BAT (breath alcohol testing) vans. Doug was also recognized as a Top Lawyer for the People by H-Texas magazine, and was referred to as the “Drinking Driver’s Best Friend” by the Houston Press.

If you would like to contact the author, please visit: http://www.dougmurphylaw.com


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