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Boating-linked drinking charges in CO are no big deal, right?

The above blog headline query in today’s post comes with an implied ending. Namely, that stresses the distinction between a criminal charge levied upon a Colorado resident for drunk driving on a roadway and exactions applied against an intoxicated boater, respectively.

News flash to readers: There is no such distinction. If you’re arrested and convicted for boating under the influence (BUI) on a Colorado waterway, you will be accorded the same treatment that is meted out to a DUI motorist flagged on a street or highway.

And that will be harsh. A recent news story on BUI behavior and repercussions notes that the penalties for drunk boating include “fines, having your boat impounded, potential jail time, and loss of boating privileges.”

Note, though, that there could be more. Insurance premiums spike for many Coloradans convicted of drinking-related offenses. Community service is an oft-ordered requirement, as is mandatory participation in an offender education class. Time lost from work is a given. Many people understandably suffer from a stigma that attaches to their conviction.

Boaters across the state might reasonably want to take note of Operation Dry Water, a pre-July 4 national safety/enforcement initiative that will commence tomorrow and run through the weekend.

The three-day operation promises close scrutiny of Colorado boaters, via ramped-up patrols carried out by the state’s Park and Wildlife agency. As is similarly true concerning road-related DUI campaigns, checkpoints will also be employed, and sobriety and breathalyzer tests will be administered.

Attorneys from the Denver criminal defense firm of Shazam, Kianpour & Associates wish all our readers a safe and happy Fourth of July holiday and summer season.

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