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Boating under the influence Q and A

There are many Louisiana residents who may not be aware that operating a water vehicle while impaired by alcohol is considered illegal according to both state and federal laws. So, when someone is pulled over and arrested for boating under the influence (BUI), it is reasonable that he or she would have questions that need answers. This week's column with discuss a couple of common questions about BUI.

What are the potential penalties of a BUI conviction? The standard BUI penalties are license suspension, fines and/or jail time. One's level of intoxication will determine how long a suspension may last, how hefty the fine may be and how long of a jail sentence may be ordered. If anyone is injured or killed due to one operating a boat while under the influence, the penalties will be far more severe.

Is impairment testing foolproof? If stopped for a suspected BUI, one will likely be asked to submit to field sobriety and/or chemical testing. Both are believed to be highly accurate; however, human error can cause unreliable results. It is okay to question these findings as doing so may help one's case. If desired, it is also possible to refuse testing from the get go, but this has consequences.

Boating under the influence is treated with the same seriousness as driving under the influence. Both have the potential for causing undue harm to unsuspecting victims. As this is the case, it is not likely that one's BUI case will be treated lightly in a Louisiana criminal court. This is why having an experienced defense attorney on one's side can prove invaluable. Any questions the accused may have can be answered in great detail and the appropriate defensive strategies can be utilized when necessary in order to seek the best possible resolution to the matter.

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