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Waukesha Boating Under the Influence Lawyers

Wind Lake BUI Defense Attorneys

Attorneys for Individuals Charged With Operating a Boat Under the Influence

Among the most enjoyable aspects of living in Wisconsin are the over 15,000 freshwater lakes to experience including Lac La Belle, Okauchee Lake, Oconomowoc Lake, Pine Lake, Pewaukee Lake, and Muskego Lake. With access to both Lake Superior and Lake Michigan, many Wisconsin residents spend a great deal of time out on the water. Taking the boat out on the lake for a day of fishing, swimming, or simply lounging around is many people's idea of a perfect day. However, when these boating trips lead to boating under the influence charges, the fun stops.

At Bucher, Wolff & Sonderhouse, LLP, we provide reliable counsel and aggressive defense representation for individuals charged with boating under the influence or BUI. Our attorneys know that a BUI conviction can profoundly affect your life, so we work hard to get your charges dismissed whenever possible.

Defense Attorney for BUI Charges in Muskego and Okauchee

While you may think that having a few drinks on a boat is not a big deal, operating a boat while intoxicated is against the law in Wisconsin. Law enforcement officials who witness boat drivers speeding through no-wake zones, driving in a reckless or erratic manner, or flagrantly drinking may require watercraft operators to take breathalyzers or sobriety tests in order to determine their level of intoxication. Loud behavior or partying, inadequate boat lighting, and reports from witnesses of dangerous behavior may also trigger law enforcement or the Coast Guard to assess a boat driver's level of intoxication.

The legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit for non-commercial boaters is 0.08%, the same as it is for operating a motor vehicle on Wisconsin roadways. If a boat operator is found to have a BAC above the legal limit, he or she can be charged with BUI. The legal BAC limit for commercial boat drivers is just 0.04 percent. Being under the influence of drugs, even prescription drugs, can also lead to BUI charges.

Criminal Penalties for Boating Under the Influence of Drugs or Alcohol in Wisconsin

The penalty for a first-time BUI charge is a fine of up to $300. The offender could also be required to participate in an alcohol or drug education program. If a boater is convicted of a second offense within five years, he or she faces penalties including a fine of up to $1000 and up to six months in jail. A third BUI offense carries up to $2,000 in fines and incarceration of up to one year.

The primary reason Wisconsin takes such a hard line against boating under the influence is because of the many injuries and fatalities caused by boat accidents involving an intoxicated driver. Alcohol intoxication is the leading known contributing factor in fatal boat accidents according to the American Boating Association. If you are convicted of BUI resulting in injury, you face up to $2,000 in fines and 30 days to one year in jail – even if you have never been charged with boating while intoxicated in the past.

Schedule a Free Consultation to Discuss Your Case

For help defending against boating under the influence charges, contact our office. Our seasoned BUI lawyers have had extensive legal experience defending against OWI and BUI charges. To schedule a free, confidential consultation with a knowledgeable member of our team, call 262-232-6699 today. Bucher, Wolff & Sonderhouse, LLP serves clients in Waukesha County, Milwaukee County, Waukesha, Oconomowoc, Delafield, Brookfield, Muskego, New Berlin, Pewaukee, Milwaukee, and the neighboring communities.

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