With Spring Break concluding and students returning to school on most high school and college campuses, it’s possible you find yourself facing a BUI charge. While penalties and laws surrounding boating under the influence can vary widely from state to state, in North Carolina they are similar to those governing a DUI charge. If you are operating a water vessel, you can be pulled over by law enforcement upon suspicion of being under the influence of either alcohol or drugs.
If you are found guilty, you will have criminal charges on your record and those can always be far-reaching in the worst possible way. You could also lose your boating license. If boating is your livelihood, and trafficking spring break fishers and party-goers is how you ended up in trouble, this could prove to be even more financially detrimental.
If you are facing charges related to operating a watercraft while under the influence, you have options. If the administrator of a field sobriety test, the arresting or ticketing officer or any other law enforcement official does not follow protocol, this can be grounds for a dismissal. Sometimes a field sobriety test cannot be conducted because of the movement of the watercraft and the limitation to the size of the area on which to conduct the test.
As in DUI charges, a Breathalyzer can often be disputed as to its accuracy.
A North Carolina attorney knowledgeable in the state’s legal system may be able to provide you valuable insight into where your best defense strategy is. If you cannot fight the charge, you may be able to minimize the penalties and procuring a criminal defense attorney may also be the best way to know how to proceed with this intention.