Tacoma BUI Attorney Information Domain Name For Sale
BOATING UNDER THE INFLUENCE
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Much like DUI, there are different means of committing the crime of Operation' of a Vessel While Under the Influence of Intoxicating Liquor (BUI). The operator of a boat [vessel] is presumed to be under the influence of intoxicating liquor or any drug if:
The person has 0.08 percent of more by weight of alcohol in the person's breath, as shown by analysis of the person's breath made under RCW 46.61.506; or
The person has 0.08 percent of more by weight of alcohol in the person's blood, as shown by analysis of the person's breath made under RCW 46.61.506; or
The person is under the influence of or affected by intoxicating liquor or any drug; or
The person is under the combined influence of or affected by intoxicating liquor and any drug.
Included in the same statute, it is also unlawful for any person to operate a vessel in a reckless manner. Violation of either section of this statue is a misdemeanor, punishable as provided in RCW 9.92.030.6
Yet the most interesting portion of the statutes reads:
The fact that any person charged with a violation of this section is or has been entitled to use such a drug under the laws of this state shall not constitute a defense against any charge of violating this section. A person cited under this subsection may upon request be given a breath test for breath alcohol or may request to have a blood sample taken for blood alcohol analysis. An arresting officer shall administer field sobriety tests when circumstances permit.
A plain reading of this section suggests that breath may be requested by law enforcement, but the operator of the vessel may request that blood be taken in lieu of breath, thus controlling the type of test administered, contrary to the mandates of RCW 46.61.506.
The Implied Consent Law
Perhaps of greatest joy to both the boater and the attorney challenged with defending one accused of BUI is that at the current time, the legislature has not associated these charges with Washington's Implied Consent Law. This provides relief for the boater because their driver's license will not be subject to a civil hearing in which a DOL hearing officer will summarily suspend your client's drivers' license based solely upon allegations contained in a police report.
Civil Administrative Coast Guard Hearings
Should local or state law enforcement make a report of an operator's arrest to the Coast Guard for BUI, it is highly likely that a civil hearing will be scheduled in order to determine if a fine and if so, how much, is imposed by the federal government.
Whereas DOL hearings on DUIs pertain only to one's driving privilege in the State of Washington, Coast Guard Civil Hearings pertain only to the imposition of a monetary fine. Moreover, Coast Guard hearing officers are given considerably more leeway in determining the appropriate penalty than their DOL counterparts.
Coast Guard hearing officers have no responsibility for the investigation of any case submitted to them for consideration of a civil fine. They must decide each case based upon the evidence presented to them. They cannot have any prior connection with the case they are deciding.
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