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Can You Get in Trouble For Drinking on Your Private Boat in Wisconsin?

Posted on in Criminal Law

Waukesha Defense Lawyer for BUIWhether you are speed boating in the expansive waters of Lake Michigan or fishing in a smaller lake or river, Wisconsin offers boating enthusiasts endless opportunities to spend time on the water. People often wait all year for the chance to spend summer days relaxing in their boats. Many people enjoy bringing alcohol onto their boat, and while responsible alcohol use can lead to great memories with family and friends, irresponsible use can lead to accidents, injuries, and charges of boating under the influence. If you have been charged with a BUI, it is essential to speak with a Wisconsin criminal defense attorney who can help you understand your legal options. 

What are the Consequences of Boating Under the Influence? 

Although boating under the influence can carry less severe consequences than driving under the influence, charges are still serious, especially for repeat offenders. First time offenders face a fine between $150 and $300. Second offenses, however, face between five days and six months in jail and fines between $300 and $1,000. Punishments steadily increase for continued offenses and, if an accident involving serious bodily injury or death occurred while boating under the influence, the person responsible may face up to a year in prison, fines up to $2,000, and any other criminal or civil penalties associated with the accident (such as property damage, personal injury, etc.). 

Can I Refuse a Breathalyzer? 

No. If you are operating a motorboat in Wisconsin, you are automatically deemed to have given consent to test at least one sample, including breath, blood, or urine samples. Even if you are not using the boat’s motor at the time of the test, if the boat has a motor, you can be given a BUI. If your test results show a blood alcohol concentration above .08 percent or the presence of any restricted substance in your body, you may be charged with a BUI. Keep in mind that marijuana is not legal to use or possess in Wisconsin, even if it was purchased legally in another state. 

Contact a Milwaukee County Criminal Defense Lawyer 

Getting hit with charges of boating under the influence can be a nasty surprise, but it does not have to ruin your summer. If you are facing BUI charges, contact the experienced Milwaukee County criminal defense attorneys at Wolff & Sonderhouse, LLP to find out what we can do to help you build an aggressive defense against the prosecution’s case. We have a great track record of helping our clients get their charges reduced or dropped altogether. Call us now at 262-232-6699 to schedule a free consultation. 


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