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BUI Investigation

Operating a vessel under the influence of alcohol or drugs is considered a serious crime in California. Investigators employ many of the same tests used in California driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (DUI) cases to investigate boating under the influence, including field sobriety tests and chemical tests. Because the consequences of boating under the influence are so severe, anyone arrested on suspicion of BUI in California needs the help of a criminal defense attorney experienced in defending California boating under the influence cases.

When the law enforcement officers of one of the more than 150 state and local agencies responsible for enforcing boating laws in California arrests a boater for BUI, the vessel operator must submit to a chemical test of his or her blood, or breath.

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Attorneys for the firm represent clients accused of driving under the influence of alcohol or driving with a blood alcohol level at or above the legal limit in San Francisco, San Mateo, Marin, Alameda, Santa Clara, Contra Costa, Sonoma and Napa counties.

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Boaters operate their vessels under an implied consent law similar to that which governs motor vehicles (California Vehicle Code Section 23612 - Implied Consent For Chemical Testing), meaning they agree to submit to a chemical test if suspected of BUI. Refusing to take a chemical test can result in additional penalties.

California law enforcement officers investigating boating under the influence of alcohol or drugs (BUI) cases use similar techniques to those in a driving under the influence investigation, including field sobriety tests. An arresting officer likely will note the boater’s behavior before, during, and after the arrest, and document any signs and symptoms of intoxication. This information can be used to justify an arrest and provide evidence for a California criminal DUI court trial.

Some boating under the influence investigations begin when a person falls overboard or when two vessels collide. In the event of an accident or a person falling overboard, especially one causing injury or death, investigators will interview witnesses and passengers in the boat and will take photographs, measurements, and other physical evidence.

Boating under the influence is a serious offense that carries substantial penalties. It is extremely important to have excellent legal representation. A California criminal defense lawyer experienced in defending boating under the influence cases will launch an aggressive defense strategy and may keep consequences to a minimum.

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