According to KIRO-7 News, officers patrolled Lake Washington looking for people boating under the influence of alcohol this past weekend for Seafair festivities. The boating under the influence, or BUI, patrols are a combined effort of local and state law enforcement.
A BUI ticket is $1,000. If your boat is impounded it will cost another $800.
There are numerous reasons that officers can stop boaters including not having their 2015 boating registration posted, for having children standing on the swim step while the boat was underway, and checking to see if there are too many people on board.
The enforcement stops give officers a chance to observe boat operators and try to determine if they are sober or under the influence. If they believe a boater is drunk, officers initiate a field sobriety test. If the boater is arrested and no one else on board is sober or can safely operate the boat, the boat is towed to a dock on Mercer Island where it is impounded.
When the BUI enforcement began about 10 years ago, 175 people were arrested Seafair weekend. Last year only 35 boaters were arrested for DUI. Officers say education and enforcement are working.
If you or someone you know have been stopped, questioned, or arrested for driving under the influence, the first call you should make is to a qualified DUI defense attorney. We are available 24/7 on our on-call attorney line at 253-691-4453.