People in Louisiana love to get out on the water, especially over the holidays. Enjoying the waves, the sunshine and the outdoors is a significant part of the lifestyle of our state. However, some people may have a little too much to drink while out enjoying the waterways, and end up facing an accusation of boating under the influence.
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries were patrolling the waters in force over the holiday weekend and will be throughout the summer. Their focus is on looking for boaters who have been drinking. According to authorities, those who have overconsumed may exhibit signs such as slow reaction time and lack of balance.
There were three fatalities attributed to boating under the influence last year in Louisiana. This amounted to about 12.5 percent of the total number of boating fatalities. This is slightly less than the 15 percent of boating fatalities nationally that were attributed to drinking. There were 24 fatalities while boating from all accidents last year.
Boating under the influence is a serious charge in Louisiana. A boater can face fines, loss of his or her license and even jail time for these type of incidents. However, before any of these penalties can be assessed, a boater would have to be convicted of the crime charged. There are distinct laws relating to the intoxication level for boating under the influence, and procedural rules for collecting certain evidence. Those facing BUI charges may find it helpful to learn more about these procedures as they work with their attorneys to prepare a defense to the accusations.
Source: U.S. News & World Report, "Driving Drunk Is Not Just an Issue on the Road", June 30, 2017