The days are getting warmer and longer, and many people have been looking forward to getting out on the state's lakes. The summer boating season began on Memorial Day weekend, and officials have begun patrolling the lakes. Safety violations, such as failure to wear life jackets, are a priority. Driving under the influence is also a major concern. Boaters can be charged with DUI on a lake just as motorists can be in their cars on Utah roadways.
Officers who were patrolling Utah Lake over the holiday weekend reminded boaters that driving a boat drunk is just as dangerous as being drunk behind the wheel of a car. Reaction times are diminished, which can lead to an accident. A day of fun out on the boat can quickly become a nightmare in a drunk boating accident.
Where the same rules apply to boaters when it comes to driving under the influence, the same rules apply to law enforcement officials as well. It will still be necessary for officers to follow proper procedures and protect the individual's rights throughout the process. For example, breath and blood testing will still need to be done by trained individuals with properly working equipment.
Any Utah resident charged with DUI as a boat driver retains is presumed innocent until and unless proved guilty in court. A conviction for a boating DUI comes with the same potential penalties as it does on land. The effects on a person's life can be just as devastating. Therefore, engaging experienced counsel as soon as possible is essential.
Source: fox13now.com, "Safety, DUI concerns extend from Utah roadways to lakes", Robert Boyd, May 25, 2015