With the beautiful weather we’ve been enjoying boating is on the minds of many Seattle area residents. With boating and getting on the water comes the need to bring food and drink out on boats. While many people drink water or juices on boats, some adults like to enjoy a beer or mixed drink on the water. This is legal and accepted practice on the waterways of Washington. However, a boat’s driver should not have too much to drink. If he or she does, it gives rise to concerns for the safety of those in their boat and for other boats around their boat on the water.
Washington’s boating under the influence (“BUI”) law is governed by RCW 79A.60.040. It has similarities to Washington’s driving under the influence (“DUI”) law but is not identical to it. Because taking a boat out and having drinks on the water is a way many people choose to relax, smart boaters make themselves aware of the laws that govern drinking on the water.
Drinking alcohol on a boat is not illegal (as long as the person is 21 years old). The boat operator is required to be under the legal limit. The laws governing boating under the influence law have some distinctly different aspects than DUI law. When in doubt, contact a competent defense lawyer as a BUI conviction has serious ramifications.
If you find yourself in a situation where you were boating, may have had too much to drink, and had an interaction with law enforcement, contacting a competent attorney to figure out your best “next steps” is advisable. At Miller Law Group LLC we are available to answer your questions and give you guidance.