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Arlington Heights BUI defense lawyer

For many people, Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial start to summer. Some people celebrate with picnics and barbecues, while others head to the lake for time on the water. In many cases, people enjoy drinking alcohol while enjoying these activities. However, what many people do not realize is that Illinois treats alcohol and boating very similar to the way it treats alcohol and driving. If you are convicted of boating while under the influence (BUI) of alcohol or drugs, you could face serious consequences, similar to driving under the influence (DUI) charges.

What Is a BUI?

The Illinois Boat Registration and Safety Act states that it is illegal to operate a boat while under the influence of alcohol or other drugs. A person is considered to be boating under the influence if he or she is in actual physical control of watercraft and one or more of the following apply:

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Arlington Heights criminal defense lawyerSpring has finally arrived and that means summer is not far behind. The warm weather brings people outdoors to enjoy all types of activities. Illinois offers thousands of lakes and streams throughout the state for both citizens and visitors to enjoy swimming, fishing, and boating. Many of those who enjoy boating, however, sometimes fail to remember that drinking while operating a boat can lead to criminal charges just like drinking and driving a motor vehicle.

Deadly Risks

According to statistics from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (DNR), there were 14 people killed in boating accidents last year on state waters. Six of those fatalities involved alcohol and/or drug impairment of the boat operator. Marine law enforcement arrested 179 people for operating under the influence (OUI), which was an 11 percent increase from the previous year.

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boating, law, illinois criminal defense lawyerSummer is well underway and that means many Illinois citizens will be enjoying a multitude of outdoor activities. One of the more popular activities is boating. However, it is important to be aware of three new boating laws that went into effect this year. The goals of the new laws are to help promote boater safety and decrease the number of deaths and injuries which occur each year on Illinois waterways. Of particular focus to marine law enforcement is the crackdown on boat operators who drink and drive.

Illinois Senate Bill 3434 - Operating Under the Influence (OUI) went into effect on January 1st of this year. This law allows the state to seize a person’s boat or other vessel if that operator is engaging in certain criminal offenses. One of those offenses that this law takes harsh action against is operating under the influence of drugs and alcohol. The penalties for driving a boat with a blood alcohol content (BAC) level over the legal limit of .08 are now similar to those penalties for driving a vehicle with an illegal BAC level.

The bill allows for the seizure of a watercraft used in the commission of certain offenses related to operating under the influence. The new rules bring penalties for boating under the influence more in line with those for operating a motor vehicle while impaired by drugs or alcohol.

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