Indianapolis Boating DUI Lawyer
Boating in Indiana may be one of the highlights of the summer season. Central Indiana is home to Lake Monroe, a popular destination for families, college students, and retirees. It is a great place for a day-trip on a boat, but it can also be a nightmare if you choose to drive the boat after having one too many drinks. An Indianapolis boating DUI attorney at Eskew Law LLC is here to help.
In Indiana, it does not matter if you were actually impaired or not. If you have any drugs in your system or alcohol in excess of 0.08%, you may face a boating driving under the influence (DUI) conviction. The same laws that govern driving can be applied to boating on Indiana lakes, but there are a few more legal defense strategies for boating than there may be in a typical DUI case.
Water Activities That Can Lead to a Boating DUI
If you are swimming in the water, you can drink, although that may be ill-advised for safety reasons. If you get behind a boat wheel, on the other hand, you may want to keep your drinking to a minimum. Remember that the average number of drinks for registering a 0.08% is just an average, and your activities, body weight, metabolism, and food intake will all impact how quickly alcohol affects you and for how long it stays in your system.
Driving a jet ski and controlling a sailboat are both viewed similarly under the law. It may seem different to drive a full-sized boat and small sailboat, but you will face the same legal scrutiny for drinking and operating motorized and certain non-motorized watercraft.
You may even be charged with a boating DUI if you are not operating the watercraft. An individual who is asleep on a boat but could reasonably be viewed as the operator may be charged. In some accident cases, operators who register under the legal limit can still be charged with DUI if the prosecution proves that alcohol ingestion was a contributing factor.
Every year, the laws are becoming stricter on boating under the influence. Make sure you review the latest changes each season before heading out on the water in Indiana. Use extreme caution on holidays, and take steps to prevent officers from making assumptions if they do approach your vessel.
An officer must have a legitimate reason for stopping you on the water. Do not be afraid to ask if you are unsure about why you have been stopped. If you believe your rights were violated, consult an Indianapolis criminal defense lawyer who specializes in helping people maintain their freedom and their rights.
Being Charged with a Boating DUI
On the water, you may not be addressed by a state patrol or sheriff’s boat, but a department of natural resources officer. These individuals may have the authority to detain or arrest a boater on suspicion of DUI, but may not have the requisite training or certification for testing sobriety. As a result, their findings may be admissible in court.
If you are arrested for suspicion of DUI, try to remain calm. Write down what took place before and during the arrest. The notes may be helpful in developing a defense case later on. Since Indiana operates under the implied consent rule, you should understand that your license will be suspended if you refuse to take a chemical test.
At Eskew Law LLC, our criminal defense lawyers understand how frustrating and confusing a boating citation can be. Do not hesitate to reach out to our team for a case evaluation. You will need an experienced Indianapolis boating DUI attorney who understands the differences between a boating and a vehicle DUI case to develop a compelling defense. Our legal team is ready to help you understand your situation better and to make informed decisions. Together we can develop a strategy to secure the best possible outcome after a boating DUI charge.