Anytime a law enforcement officer has sufficient reason to believe a motorist is driving under the influence of alcohol, the driver is susceptible to arrest for a DUI. This summer, experienced Michigan drunk driving lawyers want to remind all residents that this rule applies not only to those driving a motor vehicle, but to those operating a boat as well. In fact, legislation is being proposed that would create stricter alcohol laws for boaters throughout the state – - not only to battle drunk driving, but also severe boating accidents.
According to the Detroit News, the Michigan Sheriffs Association is backing a proposal that would decrease the legal limit allowed for boaters. Currently, a lake-goer can avoid a Michigan DUI arrest if their blood alcohol content registers to 0.1 or lower–a higher level than is permissible for motor vehicle drivers. Supporters of the legislation want to decrease the number, aligning it with highway traffic laws. They reason that boats travel at higher speeds and there has been a significant increase in water traffic compared to previous years.
Legislators in Michigan changed the legal driving limit for motorists in 2003, lowering it to 0.08. Despite this change, the rule regarding drunk boating did not change, remaining at 0.1. The legislation requesting the change has been pending in the House Judiciary Committee since last summer, but is also included in a series of boating safety bills yet to be introduced. Should the legislation become law, the intoxication level for Michigan boaters would put the state on the same level as many other states who have also lowered their BAC limits.
Being accused of driving while intoxicated is a difficult experience for anyone to go through, regardless if the person is operating a motor vehicle or a boat. The consequences for a DUI conviction will be severe, almost certainly resulting in the loss of driving privileges or employment, or fines and/or jail time. To protect yourself from these harsh punishments, it is important to be pro-active in securing the best legal defense for your case. Contacting knowledgeable Michigan drunk driving attorneys can ensure tactical legal representation, designed to keep you on the roads, water, and at home–not behind bars.
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