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Boating While Impaired in Illinois

September 20th, 2018 at 11:34 am

Cook County boating while intoxicated lawyerIn Illinois, we are lucky to be located near Lake Michigan and other smaller lakes that are sprinkled throughout the state. Nice weather often calls for days spent with family and friends on a boat. For most people, these fun activities often involve the enjoyment of alcoholic beverages. However, what most people do not think about is the potential that they may face criminal charges while driving or operating a boat under the influence of alcohol.

What Is Boating Under the Influence?

In Illinois, the same law applies to boating under the influence of alcohol as for driving under the influence (DUI). If you are operating a boat with a blood alcohol content (BAC) over .08%, you can be charged with DUI. Additionally, operating a boat under the influence of drugs can also result in a DUI charge.

Picture the vessel in which you suspect a person would get in trouble for boating under the influence. Is it a speedboat? A person can be charged with boating under the influence when operating any number of different vessels, including yachts, sailboats, personal watercrafts, fishing boats, etc. Do not get fooled into thinking you are safe from a DUI charge just because you are not on a speedboat on the lake.

Who Can Test Me?

The law in Illinois dictates that a person consents to be tested for drugs and alcohol when they choose to operate their boat on the water. A person may refuse to participate in a drug or alcohol detection test, but that refusal will likely lead to an arrest and suspension of boating privileges for up to two years.

Boats can be “pulled over” just like cars on land if law enforcement suspects that you are operating your boat under the influence of alcohol. Busy days on the water and popular holidays can even lead to a checkpoint being set up to find those who are operating their boat under the influence.

Consequences of Boating Under the Influence

Just like a DUI in a car, a DUI on a boat can land an individual in a world of trouble. Driver’s license suspension, jail time, fines and costs, and probation are just a few of the penalties that can result from a boating under the influence charge. Additionally, multiple offenses will cause a boat driver to be in more trouble and face steeper sentences.

Contact a Cook County Criminal Defense Lawyer

If you have been charged with a DUI for boating under the influence, dedicated Rolling Meadows DUI defense attorney Christopher M. Cosley can help you understand your options for defending against these charges. Contact us at 847-394-3200 to schedule a free consultation and find out how we can help you.
Sources:
http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=062500050K11-501

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