The summer offers many Colorado residents an opportunity to experience the great outdoors. Whether heading out on the water for a day of fishing or simply taking some time to relax, boating can be a great way to spend some time away from the city.
Occasionally, some boaters will have a beer or other alcoholic drink while on the water, which is concerning Colorado Park and Wildlife officials. While much attention is focused on motorists who are stopped driving under the influence, there have been an increasing number of cases for people who are boating while intoxicated.
Like the drivers of cars or trucks, individuals operating watercraft cannot have a blood-alcohol content 0.08 or above. Those who have a BAC above this level could face boating while intoxicated charges. Boaters may also lose their boating privileges if convicted. More serious charges, such as vehicular assault, may be possible if someone is injured in an accident caused by an impaired boater.
In Colorado, the number of boating fatalities increased substantially in 2011, to their highest levels since 1998. It is believed that most of these accidents involved boaters who were under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Some jurisdictions count boating and driving convictions together, so that each offense can mean increased penalties for a person that is facing charges, whether it is an arrest for boating or driving while intoxicated.
Anyone facing a DUI or BWI charge needs to take the matter seriously. Simply pleading guilty can result in long-lasting consequences that may make it difficult to do the things you enjoy. Know the options that are available, so that you can make the best decision for your future.
Source: KREXTV.com “Authorities Cracking Down on Drunk Boating” Danielle Kreutter, June 25, 2012.