Getting charged with boating under the influence is not that different from getting charged with driving under the influence. Perhaps the main distinction, however, is that people who drive boats tend to be more at risk of such allegations -- that's because lots of Wisconsin residents like to bring alcoholic beverages with them when they head out onto our state's rivers and lakes.
Just like driving under the influence, a boating under the influence charge will trigger when the boat operator has an blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 percent or more. However, unlike drivers, boaters don't have the right to refuse a blood alcohol content test. Simply by the act of operating a watercraft or boat, operators are seen to have pre-consented to sobriety tests. In fact, it is a legal violation for a boater to refuse such a test when an officer requests it. Boaters must also stop when asked to do so by an officer of the law or by a patrol boat.
It is not uncommon for a boater who is operating under the influence to also get hit with charges related to underage drinking, having an open intoxicant and engaging in public drunkenness. If convicted of the charges, boaters can expect to incur fines, impoundment of property and even jail time.
If a BUI charge is combined with charges related to causing a fatal accident, like manslaughter, the accused boater will want to get very serious about his or her criminal defense. If convicted, the boater could be sentenced to many years in prison. As such, an accused boater may want to get legal counsel from an experienced Wisconsin defense lawyer, such as the lawyers at Wolff & Sounderhouse, LLP.