As Labor Day weekend approaches, law enforcement agencies in Phoenix and across Arizona will be carrying on the national "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" campaign specifically targeted at keeping drunk drivers off the road. The reasoning is fairly simple: with more people on the road, the potential for fatal accidents (due to alcohol consumption) increases. As such, drivers can expect additional patrols and sobriety checkpoints if they are going to be on the road.
However, the additional enforcement does not end on the road. In fact, it extends to lakes and rivers throughout the state. Sheriff's deputies and park police will be looking for drunk boaters as well.
As we highlighted in our pre-Memorial Day weekend post, the dangers inherent with boating while intoxicated outweigh those associated with drunk driving. A person operating a boat is much more likely to be at risk because of the specter of drowning while on the water. Also, all of the elements that play a part of "boaters fatigue" (i.e. the summer heat, waves coming off the lake, and wind gusts) could make it difficult for a distressed (and drunk) party to seek help.
Boating under the influence (BUI) could lead to the loss of one's boating privileges, as well as substantial fines and court costs. While it may not affect your driving privileges, you can certainly face jail time depending on the circumstances. As such, if you have been charged with boating under the influence, or have arrested for drunk boating, an experienced criminal defense attorney can advise you.
Source: DUI.Findlaw.com, Boating under the influence, the basics