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Although most people are aware that driving under the influence is against the law, many people do not know that you can also find yourself facing criminal prosecution for boating under the influence (BUI). This is a serious offense in Ohio, where it is illegal for someone to operate or control a boat or other marine vessel if his or her blood alcohol level is above the legal limit of 0.08% or if he or she is under the influence of narcotics. The blood alcohol limit is even lower for individuals under the age of 21 at 0.02%. If you are facing a boating under the influence charge, Cleveland DUI attorney A. Dale Naticchia is prepared to help you fight for a fair outcome. He proudly defends clients throughout Akron and other areas of Cuyahoga County as well.Boating Under the Influence in Ohio
The same way that police patrol the streets to identify drivers engaged in dangerous activity, law enforcement officials patrol waterways. If a boater reports another boater on the water engaging in dangerous activity, the officials assigned to that waterway will report to the scene to investigate. They also engage in routine patrols to identify any unlawful conduct, particularly during the times of year where boating activity is more common. Sometimes this involves an official patrolling and identifying whether people engaged in fishing have an appropriate fishing license. If during this interaction the official has reason to believe that you are under the influence or that the person in control of the boat is under the influence, then he or she may conduct an investigation to determine whether a BUI charge is appropriate.
In a BUI investigation, the official will engage in many of the same procedures and tests that a police officer would use to evaluate a potentially drunk driver. This includes looking for the signs of alcohol consumption such as empty cans or bottles, the odor of alcohol, or slurred speech. He or she may ask you to submit to field sobriety tests, breath tests, urine tests, or blood tests. If you refuse to provide a breath, blood, or urine sample then you may face a one-year suspension of your ability to operate or register a vessel in Ohio.
If you are charged with boating under the influence, a seasoned DUI / OVI lawyer can help you understand and fight against the potential penalties. For a first offense, you face a first degree misdemeanor. This carries a sentence of up to six months in jail, a $1,000 fine, and a period of probation of up to five years. If this is your first offense, then you face a mandatory minimum of three days in jail or you must complete a driver intervention program. The mandatory fine is at least $150.
If you are facing multiple charges for BUI within a ten-year period, then the mandatory minimums for your sentencing are increased. If it is your second offense, for example, you face a minimum of 10 days in jail. This time increases to 30 days for a third offense within a ten-year period. The judge is allowed to consider any convictions for driving an automobile under the influence when evaluating whether an increased penalty is required. There is also a list of habitual boating under the influence offenders that your name may be added to in the State of Ohio.Attorney for Cleveland Boating Under the Influence Charges
If you were charged with a boating under the influence crime in Cleveland, Parma, Bedford, Berea, Rocky River, Garfield Heights, Stow, Barberton, or other nearby areas, DUI / OVI lawyer A. Dale Naticchia is prepared to help you defend yourself. Seasoned legal counsel can help you pursue having the case dropped or having the penalties against you reduced to a fair sentence. Although you may be tempted to work with the authorities to clear your name on your own, this can quickly backfire. To schedule a free consultation, call us at 216-520-5297 or contact us online to begin exploring your legal options.