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Boating while intoxicated can lead to trouble with the law

One thing you may not realize is that you can be stopped for driving a boat while under the influence of alcohol just as you can in a vehicle. You can lose your boating license if you're found over the limit, and if you cause an accident, there are many penalties you could face.

This is particularly important as the summer months approach. The lakes aren't far, and it can be tempting to head out with a few cases of alcohol and good friends. The fact is that anyone who drinks on a boat is at a higher risk of danger than those who don't, and if a driver is intoxicated, he or she can still cause serious accidents.

Over 50 percent of all boating accidents involve the use of alcohol or drugs, which is why boating under the influence laws exist today. The U.S. Coast Guard has reported that BUI incidents have increased the number of boating fatalities by around 34 percent.

There are many penalties you can face if you boat under the influence including losing your boating license, spending time in jail or prison or having to pay heavy fines.

Just like on the roads, your boat may be pulled over by state or federal authorities. If you show signs of intoxication, boater's fatigue and other stresses that make it difficult for you to drive safely, you are likely to be tested and arrested if you fail the tests given.

If this happens to you, you do have a right to defend yourself. Your attorney can help you fight charges that you feel are unfair or biased.

Source: FindLaw, "Boating Under the Influence Basics," accessed May 05, 2017

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