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OUI for boating under the influence when I wasn't Driving?!

Phoenix, AZ |

I got pulled over because a friend was out of his seat. They checked safety gear and I passed a sobriety test on open water, 2 life jackets short, went directly to the marina got 2 more life jackets. 5 hrs later and after leaving the cove where we had beached the boat. Decided someone sober should drive. On the way back we passed the same officers, they were towing a boat, I was in the passenger seat after cutting the engines moved over to the driver’s seat to help grab the dock. After explaining that I wasnt driving he said, if its not tied off or buoyed then the person in the drivers seat is in “actual physical control”. He said he saw me through binoculars coming through no wake zone. 6 guys about same height same color hair & length from 300 yds away. What are my best options?

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Attorney answers 3


Your best option is to hire a good DUI lawyer. If you can find one with boating under the influence experience, all the better. The penalties for this are serious. A conviction can afect employment, international travel and a host of other things. You can find a DUI lawyer in your area at the website below.


I absolutely agree with Wayne. Furthermore, BUIs are typically weaker cases than a typical DUI on land. Not always, but in my experience I would much rather defend a BUI than a DUI if given a choice before a jury.


I would agree with the other two attorneys' answers. This is a serious offense, just as serious as a DUI with a vehicle. It does sound, however, that you have some issues that can be leveraged. Was the investigating police agency the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office? You are going to need a lawyer one way or another (either appointed or retained). It also sounds like you have some other independent witnesses that may help your case. What court is this out of? All these things have impact on the strength of your case. If you would like to talk further, please call my office for a consultation.

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