Summer is here and if you have a boat, you'll likely be spending countless hours out on Arizona's lakes.
Picture Lake Havasu on a sunny day and you might think of college students with cases of beer on board, racing up and down the waterways. You might say to yourself, “It's just harmless fun,” but operating a boat while impaired is just as dangerous and illegal as drinking wile driving a car. The legal limit for blood alcohol is .08 in both cases.
The penalties are similar, too. Like driving under the influence, operating a boat under the influence is a class one misdemeanor.
To detect and remove impaired and unsafe boaters, officers from the Arizona Game and Fish Department and other agencies in Arizona and bordering states of California and Nevada conduct saturation patrols. Saturation patrols and OUI checkpoints, a similar operation, are conducted on Arizona's lakes and rivers during the busiest boating months (March through September).
If you're waved over by an officer during a saturation patrol or you enter an OUI checkpoint area while boating Arizona's waterways this summer, don't worry. If your boat operator is sober and the boat is safe, you'll quickly be on your way again.
The boat's driver will be checked to ensure he or she is not endangering others by operating a boat while under the influence of alcohol and your boat will be assessed for its safety equipment to ensure it meets legal requirements.
A conviction for OUI may result in jail time, fines, alcohol or other drug screening and recommended education and community restitution.
If you find yourself in this situation, call The Law Office of Craig W. Penrod. Craig has been involved in criminal and DUI defense for more than 30 years, is certified by the State Bar of Arizona as a Certified Criminal Law Specialist, is AV® rated, the highest rating by Martindale Hubbell®, is listed in the Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers®, and has been selected for inclusion in Southwest Super Lawyers™ Editions 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012. Contact the lawyers at the Law Offices of Craig W. Penrod for a free initial legal consultation if you find yourself facing DUI or criminal charges.