There's nothing better than taking out the boat on a nice summer's day to do some fishing or just kick back and relax. Of course, bringing along a cooler of beer seems like a way to make the day even more relaxing. Unfortunately, rather than being able to unwind, you could be facing serious consequences if you're stopped and charged with boating under the influence. Law enforcement takes BUIs very seriously in the state of Louisiana, and that means you could be looking at hefty fines, jail time and the loss of your boating license.
Other factors could make the charges even more severe. For instance, if there were minors in the boat or this is a second or third offense, you might even lose your license to operate a motor vehicle, which could hinder your ability to make a living.
So what can you do to avoid these types of charges?
- Read up on the boating regulations in the area before you go out. Can you be stopped without "probable cause?" What is the limit for blood alcohol content on the water?
- Be especially careful during busy times like the Fourth of July, Labor Day and Memorial Day. Many more boaters are on the water, and the authorities pay extra close attention.
- More than half of all boating accidents are because of alcohol, so ensure that everyone wears a life vest in the boat.
If you've already been charged, you'll want to seek help from an experienced DUI or BUI attorney. He or she can make sure that the stop and intoxication test were conducted legally and may even be able to help you get the charges reduced.